PestFacts WA

Russian wheat aphid activity update

During August, low levels of Russian wheat aphids (RWA), and/or RWA feeding symptoms, have been reported in various wheat varieties near the following localities:

  • Wongoondy
  • Miling
  • Goomalling
  • Jennacubbine
  • Northam
  • Cunderdin
  • Narembeen
  • Salmon Gums
Russian wheat aphids on wheat. Photo courtesy DPIRD
Russian wheat aphid and feeding damage on wheat. Photo courtesy DPIRD

In several reports it was commented that RWA, or RWA symptoms, were only evident in wheat crops that had not received a seed dressing.

Typical Russian wheat aphid feeding streaking symptoms being displayed on wheat leaves
Typical Russian wheat aphid feeding streaking symptoms being displayed on wheat leaves. Photo courtesy of: Tim Boyes (AgVivo).

Growers and consultants are urged to monitor cereal crops, particularly ones that have not had a seeding dressing for RWA, and other cereals aphids. Cereal aphid activity is expected to increase as temperatures begin to warm.

For more information on diagnosing RWA and other cereal aphids refer to DPIRD’s Diagnosing Russian wheat aphid and Diagnosing cereal aphids pages. 


RWA is manageable with the application of registered insecticides.

Growers are always advised to apply sprays only if threshold levels are reached. Researchers from SARDI and Cesar Australia have developed a calculator to help consultants and growers decide if spraying for RWA is economically justified. For instructions and more information on using the RWA threshold calculator, refer to GRDC’s Russian wheat aphid page.

Aphid colonisation after head emergence in cereal crops does not lead to yield loss.

For a list of insecticides registered for use on aphids (including RWA) see DPIRD’s 2022 winter spring insecticide guide or refer to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) products database for all chemical control options available for RWA in grains crops.

To read about earlier RWA activity this season refer to the 2022 PestFacts WA Issue 10 article Russian wheat aphids found in Geraldton and Issue 8 article Russian wheat aphid

For more information on RWA refer to the:

For more information on RWA, or other aphids, contact Research Scientist Svetlana Micic, Albany on +61 (0)8 9892 8591.



Article author: Cindy Webster (DPIRD Narrogin).