September Pest of the Month: Two-spotted mite

Name: Two-spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae)

Small colonies cause little damage to crops but can reproduce very rapidly during warm dry weather. Large infestations can reduce crop vigour and damage terminal shoots.

Similar to: Bean spider mite, persimillis, predatory mite

Eggs: Minute, globular, almost transparent

Immatures: Similar to adults but smaller

Adult: Approximately 0.5mm, yellowish-green with two pronounced dark spots, one on either side of the body. Spots are less conspicuous in males. Turns light red/orange in cold climates when overwintering.

Damage: First sign of damage is a fine speckling on the upper surface of the leaf caused by mites feeding on the underside. Heavily infested leaves may become bronzed and shrivelled. Can cover plants in webbing. Overwintering form is usually found in shelters on the ground, around bases of plants, under pots and anywhere in the greenhouse structure.

For further information, please refer to the Pest ID Tool at: https://pestid.com.au/pest-insect/two-spotted-mite 

Note that the Pest ID tool is now available with free access to industry.

An initiative of the Nursery Levy funded National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004) and ‘Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry’ Project (NY15002)