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.

WA 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 Primary Industries and Regional Development provides:

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

For advice on mites search our website, the Western Australian Organism List or contact our Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS).

For diagnostic services, please contact our Diagnostic Laboratory Services.

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

  • Two-spotted mite is a minor pest of potatoes in both Indonesia and Western Australia.

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

  • Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is an external parasite of honey bees and are considered the greatest threat to Australia's honey and honey bee pollination plant industries.

  • Redlegged earth mites (RLEM) that are resistant to commonly applied insecticides including synthetic pyrethroids (Group 2A), and organophosphates (Group 1B) were first found in Western Australia.

  • Leathery cotyledons

    Redlegged earth mite (RLEM) is a sap-sucking pest of crops and pastures. Canola and peas are particularly susceptible. They often co-exist with blue oat mites.

  • Maintaining feed-on-offer at around 2 t DM/ha for four weeks around the Timerite® date in spring can effectively control RLEM in the following growing season.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • DDLS - Entomology services provides expertise in invertebrate identification as well as helping to facilitate domestic and international trade and assists in protecting the biosecurity of Western A

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