PestFacts WA

Lucerne flea and redlegged earth mite activity

Lucerne flea

  • Binnu
  • Northampton
  • Yuna
An adult lucerne flea
Lucerne flea adult. Photo courtesy of: DPIRD.

Agworld user(s) have reported finding varying levels of lucerne flea activity in canola near Yuna, wheat crops near Northampton and lupins near Binnu.

For previous lucerne flea activity and management recommendations refer to 2019 PestFax Issue 7 article Lucerne flea activity update.

Redlegged earth mites

  • Coorow
  • Tammin
  • Bulyee
  • Corrigin
  • Westdale
  • Brookton
  • Wickepin
  • Williams
Redlegged earth mites on a lupin plant.
Redlegged earth mites on a lupin plant. Photo courtesy of: Planfarm.

A user of the Planfarm Herbicide Guide app has found Redlegged earth mites (RLEM) in a lupin crop near Coorow.

David Stead (Anasazi Agronomy) has reported finding RLEM in wheat (paddock had previously been in pasture) north of Tammin and in clover east of Brookton.

Agworld user(s) have reported low levels of RLEM in two leaf wheat near Bulyee, very high levels of RLEM in two leaf barley near Corrigin, RLEM in barley south of Wickepin and medium levels in lupins near Williams.

Juvenile RLEMs were found in a clover pasture near Westdale.

Most RLEM have deep velvet black bodies and red legs but when they are young nymphs, or have a fungal infection, they can vary slightly in colour. It is important that they are not confused with Bryobia mites that are more pie shaped, with grey bodies and front legs that are longer than their other legs. As conditions cool Bryobia mite activity will decrease.

Correct identification of mites is important to avoid further insecticide resistance in RLEM populations. For more information see GRDC’s Resistance management strategy for the red legged earth mite in Australian grains and pastures fact sheet.

For previous mite activity and management recommendations refer to the 2019 PestFax Issue 5 article Be aware of mites and lucerne flea as crops germinate.


For insecticide recommendations for managing lucerne flea and RLEM refer to DPIRD’s 2019 Autumn/Winter Insecticide Guide.

For more information on invertebrate insects contact Dustin Severtson, Development Officer, Northam on +61 (0)8 9690 2160 or Svetlana Micic, Research Officer, Albany on +61 (0)8 9892 8591.