GRDC Crop Mites Back Pocket Guide

Published: 18 Jun 2012

Mites are among the most diverse and successful of all invertebrate groups. They are small in size and often go unnoticed, however mites are one of the most important pest groups attacking Australian grain crops. Some species have become more problematic over the last decade as farming practices have changed, and others are proving difficult to control due to tolerance and chemical resistance issues.

There are only a few mite species considered major crop pests in Australia. These are the redlegged earth mite, blue oat mite, Bryobia mite and Balaustium mite. In addition there are also sporadic pests that occasionally cause crop damage in grains; notably the brown wheat mite and the two-spotted mite (a serious pest in horticulture).

Unfortunately all these mites are relatively similar in appearance and can co-exist in the same area. Incorrect identification between species leads to ineffective control of mite pests in crops and pastures. This guide is designed to assist growers in identifying the most commonly observed mite species found in the southern and western cropping regions.

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Region: South; West