Mites & spiders

Mites

Mites are minute (usually less than 1mm) arachnids with eight legs when adults. They are often pests of animals and plants, infest stored food products and in some cases transmit diseases.

Mites are a risk for Western Australian primary producers as they impact upon market access and agricultural production. 

Western Australia is free from some of the world's major agricultural mite pests. Biosecurity and management measures on your property are vital in preventing the spread of mites.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia provides:

  • biosecurity/quarantine measures at the State border to prevent the entry of mites.
  • advice on widespread mites present in the State.

For advice on mites please search our website, Western Australian Organism List or contact our Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS). For diagnostic services, please contact our AGWEST Plant Laboratories or Animal Health Laboratories.

Spiders

Spiders are eight legged arachnids. They are not agricultural pests and do not spread disease or damage crops or food products. Spiders can play a beneficial role by feeding on pest insects. There are hundreds of species of spiders in Australia, with very few spiders that are potentially harmful.

Contact the Western Australian Museum for further information on spiders or Poisons Information on 13 11 26 for treatment of severe bites.

 

Articles

  • Red legged earth mite and Blue Oat mite

    Field peas are very susceptible to mite damage at the seedling stage.

  • Varroa mite is an important parasite of bees worldwide, but fortunately not yet occurring in Western Australia or other mainland states of Australia.

  • There are many economic and financial implications that need to be considered when choosing a management option. These may include:

  • Six-spotted mite can defoliate grapevines and avocado trees in the lower South West of Western Australia.

  • Mites are one of the most consistent pests in deciduous fruit tree orchards in Western Australia. Over-reliance on miticides for control  has led to pesticide resistance in some species.

  • Bananas in the Ord River Irrigation Area face two major insect pests (banana weevil borer and sugarcane bud moth) and two mites (russet and two-spotted).

  • Reddish-grey, pie-shaped body, with red legs and two long forelegs

    Bryobia mite, also known as clover mite, is a sap-sucking pest of broadleaf crops and pastures, that can seriously damage canola especially where there has been a 'green bridge' consisting of clove

  • European red mite feeds on leaves of fruit trees especially apples. This can result in premature leaf fall which affects fruit tree vigour and fruit quality.

  • The most common mite pest of strawberry crops is two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae), also known as spider mite or red-spider mite.

  • There are many hundreds of species of spiders in Australia which play a beneficial role in our environment by eating insect pests.