Mites

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.

Damage

  • 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.

Natural enemies

Apple dimpling bug, lacewings, ladybirds, smudge bugs and predatory thrips are key mite predators.