Peanut mite - Paraplonobia spp., Two-spotted mite - Tetranychus urticae
Pest status: Mites are mostly minor and infrequent pests of peanuts. Peanuts are most at risk during extended hot dry weather, or where non-selective pesticides are used extensively in peanuts or in adjoining crops.
- Peanut mite-feeding causes a yellowing and silvering of leaves.
- Damage by high populations causes shedding of lower leaves and eventual plant death.
- Mite damage to leaves may be confused with stippling caused by vegetable jassids but is much finer.
- Two-spotted mite feeding causes leaf mottling and yellowing. In severe cases leaves will die. Heavily infested leaves have a fine webbing on their underside and are seemingly covered in dark red or green spots - which are the mites.
Monitoring and control
- Sample weekly for peanut mites during prolonged dry weather.
- Check the underside of leaves for symptomatic leaf discolouration.
- Peanut mites in particular drop from leaves at the slightest disturbance.
- Control patches with obvious silvering of leaves if conditions are likely to remain dry.
- Regular irrigations reduce the risk of peanut mite damage.
- Two-spotted mite damage is more likely if peanuts are grown adjacent to cotton and other heavily sprayed crops.
- For current chemical control options see Pest Genie or APVMA.
Apple dimpling bug, lacewings, ladybirds, smudge bugs and predatory thrips are key mite predators.