Free redlegged earth mite insecticide resistance testing

Do you suspect insecticide resistance in the redlegged earth mite in your paddock? Have you experienced a chemical control failure?

If so, we can help to test whether your local redlegged earth mite populations have evolved insecticide resistance.

Resistance screening service for the redlegged earth mite

We are again offering a screening service to test for insecticide resistance in redlegged earth mite within South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania. The screening is at no cost for Australian growers and advisers, thanks to funding from the GRDC and co-investments from MLA and Agrifutures.

We are particularly interested in hearing from growers or advisors who have experienced recent or past chemical control failures or have paddocks that are frequently impacted by the mites, and often require spraying.

Given the heavy reliance on neonicotinoids for redlegged earth mite control, the research team will also be screening redlegged earth mite populations for neonicotinoid resistance throughout southern Australia.

The need for resistance surveillance in the redlegged earth mite

Control of redlegged earth mites is largely reliant on three registered chemical groups; neonicotinoids (as seed dressings), synthetic pyrethroids (SPs) and organophosphates (OPs) (as foliar insecticides).

Consequently, redlegged earth mite populations resistant to either SPs or OPs, or both, are now present across large areas of the southern grain and pasture growing regions of Western Australia and eastern Australia.

This service will help detect local resistance before it becomes widespread and will help identify the best control options for growers. 

We will be undertaking field trips this year within NSW and South Australia, particularly around the Eyre and Yorke peninsula regions to collect redlegged earth mite for resistance screening, so get in touch if you would like us to collect mites from your area. You can also send in samples of mites for screening.

Directions on how to send mites in for screening can be found here.

Avoiding the evolution of insecticide resistance

To reduce the risk of your local mites evolving resistance, growers and advisors can refer to the redlegged earth mite resistance management strategy and redlegged earth mite best management practice guide to inform their management practices.

More information on the redlegged earth mite can be found here.

For further information or to access the testing service, please contact:

Dr Aston Arthur, 0427 875 040, or

Adriana Arturi, 0415 098 412,

Cover image: Photo by Andrew Weeks, Cesar Australia

What is Pestfacts south-eastern?

PestFacts south-eastern keeps growers and advisers informed about invertebrate pests and beneficials in broadacre crops and pastures during the winter-cropping season in Victoria and southern New South Wales.


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Since 2019 PestFacts south-eastern has been running through IPMforGrains: Best Practice Insect Pest Management, a project delivered by the National Pest Information Network (Cesar Australia, DPIRD, QDAF, NSW DPI, and SARDI). This project aims to provide grain growers and advisors with information on invertebrate grain pest occurrence and equip industry with the knowledge needed to implement integrated pest management practices. This initiative is a GRDC investment and includes in-kind contributions from all project partner organisations.

The online PestFacts south-eastern collection also includes a selection of articles published between 2015 – 2018 when the service was run through a previous GRDC investment, The National Pest Information Service.

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