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

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

  • 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

  • Adults are 0.6 millimetres long, red-brown with distinctly longer forelegs

    Brown wheat mite is an uncommon sap-sucking pest of cereals that is most active in dry warm weather.

  • Redlegged earth mites (RLEM) that are resistant to commonly applied insecticides including synthetic pyrethroids (Group 2A), the organophosphates (Group 1B) omethoate and chlorpyrifos were first fo

  • 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.

  • Bananas in the Ord River Irrigation Area face two major insect pests (banana weevil borer and sugarcane bud moth) and two mites (russet and two-spotted).

  • Severe skin itching in humans can be caused by bites from species of straw itch mite.

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

  • 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.

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