Russian wheat aphid: declared pest

Page last updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2018 - 1:28pm

Declared pest category

Russian wheat aphid is declared to be a prohibited organism under section 12 of the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 (the Act) as Diuraphis (Diuraphis) noxia. 


Russian wheat aphid is not present in WA, but in 2016 was found in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Its preference for drier climates indicates it would thrive in the Western Australian wheatbelt. Up until 2016, Australia was the last major grain growing country in the world that was free of Russian wheat aphid.

This pest is widespread in southern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East, North America and parts of Africa. It has been found in one region of the People's Republic of China for about 70 years, but has not spread to the major wheat-growing areas. It has recently been found in Chile and Argentina but has not yet become a serious pest.

Season of occurrence

Russian wheat aphid can be found throughout the year. Infestation of wheat and barley would start from the emergence of the crop in autumn and extend to crop maturity. During wet summers self-sown wheat and barley would serve as a 'green bridge'.

Reporting options

Report the absence or presence of suspect aphids or damage IMMEDIATELY via the options below:

On-farm biosecurity is important

Russian wheat aphid is spread by the movement of plant material, vehicles, machinery, equipment, livestock and wind. Adhere to good paddock hygiene measures to ensure any risk of spreading the pest is minimised, similar to managing for rusts.

  • Avoid driving vehicles through crops; and wash down vehicles frequently.
  • Limit the movement of people and equipment near the suspect crop.
  • Wash hands, and brush down clothes and boots that have been in contact with each crop.
  • Do not openly move or transport affected plant material between properties unless sending samples to your local DAFWA office.