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Bryobia mites

Consultant, Luke Maher (AGRIvision), has reported Bryobia mites (Bryobia spp.) causing damage to a newly emerging canola crop near Swan Hill, in the Mallee district of Victoria. Although the seed was treated with imidacloprid there was evidence of some feeding damage to cotyledons. The damage appears to be in the drier areas of the paddock where the canola was suffering from moisture stress. Consultant, Neil Durning (AGnVET), has also observed Bryobia mites in a canola paddock north east of Wagga Wagga, in the South West Sloped district of New South Wales.

Although Bryobia mites can be found all year, they prefer the warmer months from spring to autumn, and their population naturally declines over winter. Luke says the feeding damage is not severe. The combination of lowering pest numbers and the imidacloprid seed dressing means that spraying may not be required. Luke will continue to monitor the paddock closely, especially if moisture remains sub-optimal and the canola remains stressed and more susceptible to pest pressure.

Bryobia mites are difficult to detect during early mornings or in wet conditions and are most active during the warmer parts of the day. Look for mites and evidence of feeding damage on newly established crops and clovers. Unlike many other species of mites, which spend a lot of time on the soil surface, Bryobia mites are mostly found on the lower and upper leaf surfaces of plants. They can be confused with Balaustium mites, redlegged earth mites and brown wheat mites.

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