Diagnosing balaustium mite
Balaustium mite is a sucking pest of crops. Crops usually outgrow damage unless stressed.
What to look for
- Adults up to 2 millimetres (mm) and uniformly red brown with stout hairs covering the body.
- Very young mites are bright red.
- Balaustium mites typically attack leaf edges and leaf tips of plants.
- In canola damage is characterised by distorted cupped cotyledons that may have a leathery appearance.
- In pulses and cereals Balaustium mites cause irregular white spotting on leaves that sometimes becomes bleached.
What else could it be
|Diagnosing redlegged earth mite||Larval colour and plant damage||The main difference is the distinctive red legs and black body of the RLEM|
|Diagnosing blue oat mite||Larval colour and plant damage||The main difference is the Blue oat mite's black body, red legs and red dot on the back|
|Diagnosing bryobia mite||Coloured larvae||Bryobia mite's front legs are much larger and they cause whitish trails on the leaf surface|
Where did it come from?
- Balaustium mites come from South Africa, usually have 2 generations per season and do not require cold temperatures to stimulate egg hatching.
- Eggs hatch when there is sufficient moisture.
- Mite damage is common in early sown crops in years with summer rain and green bridge.
- Early control of summer and autumn weeds, especially capeweed and grasses will help to control populations.
- Applications of synthetic pyrethroids at the highest registered rate provides control. Organophosphates are not effective against this pest.
Economic and financial considerations
To assist in assessing the economic risk and financial costs associated with various treatment strategies go to MyEconomicTool
There may be other economic and financial implications that need to be considered when choosing a management option. These may include:Pre-crop
- Understand the potential yield losses associated with mite feeding damage.
- Assess the costs and benefits of taking preventative action.
- Assess the cost and benefits of controlling summer weeds to reduce potential feed source.
- Compare the costs, benefits and risk of each management option against doing nothing.
- Consider risk and associated costs or savings of no treatment or delaying treatment.
- Ignore all previous treatment costs in assessing current management options.
- Undertake a “what if” scenario analysis to see what impact changing assumptions (e.g. grain price and seasonal conditions), have on the projected economic outcomes.
- Include a resistance management strategy into your spray program to reduce the chance of mites and other non-target pests developing resistance.
View these economic considerations in more detail.