Mite

Overview

Wheat curl mites (Aceria tosichella Keifer) may be small, but their impact on wheat crops can be devastating.

The microscopic pests feed on the sap of wheat plants, causing curling, stunting and yellowing of leaves. This not only affects the appearance of the crop and compromises the plant’s structural integrity, but it also reduces carbohydrate production, hampering the plant’s ability to effectively photosynthesize. This limits grain production and leads to reduced yields.

Wheat curl mites also act as vectors for the wheat streak mosaic virus, compounding their impact on wheat crops. Effective management strategies like planting resistant wheat varieties, vigilant scouting, and timely application of chemical solutions are crucial to mitigate the damage caused by these mites and prevent the spread of the associated virus.

(Image Credit: Frank Peairs, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

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Identifying Wheat Curl Mite

A keen eye and magnifying lens are necessary to identify wheat curl mite given that the pests are microscopic, measuring only 0.1 to 0.2 millimeters in length. They have distinctive cigar-shaped bodies with two pairs of legs near the head.

While spotting them with the naked eye is challenging due to their translucent nature, the damage they cause to wheat plants is more noticeable. Look for distorted or curled leaves, suffering from what’s known as “wheat curl mite-induced leaf curl,” which become brittle, fragile and susceptible to breakage.

The presence of wheat streak mosaic virus, commonly transmitted by these mites, is another important pest presence indicator.

Regions Affected by Wheat Curl Mite

Wheat curl mite can be found worldwide, but it thrives in regions with dry and warm climates. Notable infestations have been reported in areas like the Great Plains in the United States, Australia and certain parts of Europe.

However, the severity of infestation varies from year to year, influenced by weather conditions and the presence of natural predators. Monitoring weather patterns and natural predator populations is essential for effective management.

(Image Credit: Phil Sloderbeck, Kansas State University, Bugwood.org)

Timing of Wheat Curl Mite Infestations

Wheat curl mite infestations are most likely to occur during the early stages of the growing season. These pests overwinter on volunteer wheat or grasses and migrate to newly emerged wheat plants in spring. Early detection and effective management strategies are crucial to prevent rapid spread and minimize damage.

How to Manage Wheat Curl Mite

To manage wheat curl mite, monitor fields closely and implement control measures such as timely insecticide application or the use of resistant wheat varieties. Maintaining good field hygiene practices, like removing volunteer wheat and grasses, also reduces overwintering habitat for the mites.

In more severe infestation situations, several chemical control options may necessary. For burndown, apply any of the following at least 14 days before planting:

Applying these chemical products at recommended rates and timings ensures effective targeting of mites while minimizing harm to the crop.

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Every product that labels MITE as a weed, pest, or disease the product can be applied against is shown below. Click any product for label and more information.
415 Superior Spray Oil435 Oil 98.8440 Superior Spray Oil455 Oil 98.8470 Supreme Spray Oil80% Micronized Wettable SulfurAcoidalAgro Pest™Allectus® SCArborMectin™Ascertain™ TRAtrevia™ 1.2% SLAtrevia™ 3.0% SLAttain® TR Total Release InsecticideAuron™ DFAxxe®Aza-Direct®AzaGuard® Botanical Insecticide/NematicideAzatrol® EC InsecticideAzatrol® Hydro Botanical InsecticideBatallion™ 2 ECBatallion™ LFCBesiege® InsecticideBi-Dash 2EBifen 2 AG GoldBifen 25% ECBifender® FC InsecticideBifenture® LFCBioCover® SSBioCover® ULBioCover™ LSBioCover™ MLTBioCover™ ULBioLink® Insect & Bird RepellantBioST™ Insecticide 100Bisect® LBrandt® Ecotec® PlusBrandt® Lime SulfurBrigade® 2EC Insecticide/MiticideCaptiva®Captiva® PrimeCapture® LFR®Cavalry™ IICheminova Malathion® 57%Chlorpyrifos 4E-AG (Drexel)CinnerateCosavet® DFCosavet® DF EdgeCrossoverCrossover® ProCrusader 1ECCrusader 2MECSC Dusting SulfurCygon™ LVDamoil™ Dormant & Summer Spray OilDebug® ONDebug® OptimoDebug® TresDebug® TurboDeclare® InsecticideDeclare® InsecticideDelta Gold®Demand® GDes-X® Insecticidal SoapDibrom® 8 Emulsive (RUP)Dimate 4EDimethoate 2.67Dimethoate 2.67 ECDimethoate 4 EDimethoate 400Dimethoate 400 ECDimethoate 4ECDimethoate LV-4Discipline® 2ECDormant Oil 435Dursban® 50W-WSP Specialty InsecticideDusting SulfurEcotec®Endigo® ZCEndigo® ZCXEnvirepel 50™Envirepel-38™Ex-icuteFanfare® ESFirestone™First Choice® Gavicide® Super 90First Choice® Narrow Range 415 Spray OilFyfanon®Fyfanon® 57% ECFyfanon® 8 lb. EmulsionGargoil® Insect, Mite & Disease ControlGarland®Gavicide® Super 90GCS Bifenthrin 2ECGCS Bifenthrin LFCGlacial® Spray FluidGolden Pest Spray Oil™Govern® 4EGrandevo®Grandevo® CGGrandevo® WDGGreenFurrow® Organics Vista Clear Spray Oil IIGrizzly® TooGrizzly® Z InsecticideHatchet® InsecticideHuma Gro® Proud 3®IAP 440 Spray OilIAP Dusting SulfurIAP Summer 415 Spray OilIntegro Magic Sulfur DustIntegro Magnetic Sulfur DustIVC 440 Supreme Spray OilJMS Stylet-Oil®Kaiso® 24 WGKarate® InsecticideKarate® with Zeon™ TechnologyKendo® 22.8 CSKendo™ InsecticideKumulus® DFKumulus® DFL - C InsecticideLalGuard® M52 ODLambda TLambda-Cy AGLambda-Cy™ EC Insecticide-RUPLamcap® IILamcap™Lamdec™ InsecticideLancer® FCLancer™ 2ECLeaf Life® Gavicide Green® 415Leaf Life® Gavicide Green® 440Lime Sulfur ULTRALime-Sulfur Solution™Lorsban® Advanced InsecticideLorsban®-4E InsecticideM-Pede® Insecticide Miticide FungicideMachete® InsecticideMagister® SCMagister™Magus® MiticideMalathion 5Malathion 57 ECMalathion 5ECMalathion 8Malathion 8 AquamulMalathion 8 FlowableMalathion 8-E InsecticideMavrik Aquaflow®Menace® 7.9% FlowableMenace® GC 7.9% FlowableMesurol® 75-WMet52® ECMicro Sulf®Microfine SulfurMicrothiol® Disperss®Microthi™ 80WDGMiller Lime Sulfur SolutionMite-E-Oil®MSR® Spray ConcentrateNarrow Range 415 Spray OilNofly® WP Wettable Powder MycoinsecticideNufarm Chlorpyrifos SPC 4Nufarm Lambda-Cyhalothrin 1EC InsecticideOmni Oil 6-EOmni Supreme SprayOrganic JMS Stylet-Oil®Paradigm®Paradigm® VCPest Out®Phoenix Firebird® ProPrev-AmPrev-Am® UltraPro-Mate® BifenthrinProaxis® InsecticideProaxis® InsecticideProaxis™Province® IIProvince™PureSpray™ Spray Oil 10EPycana™Pyganic® Crop Protection EC 1.4 IIPyganic® Crop Protection EC 5.0 IIPyganic® SpecialtyRavage®Reaper® 0.15 ECReaper® ClearForm® (Caution)Reaper® ClearForm® (Warning)ReTurn™Reveal®Reveal® Endurx™Rex Lime Sulfur SolutionRuckus™ LFR® InsecticideScimitar® CSScimitar® GCSeeker™ Insecticide with Isoclast™ ActiveSeguroSeican®Seican™Serpent™ 1 ECSil-Matrix® LCSil-Matrix™Silencer®Silencer® VXN™Sniper®Sniper® Helios®Sniper® LFR®Sol-Oil 97Spray Oil 470Spray SulfurSuffa®SuffOil-X®Sulfur 6 LSulfur 80 WDGSulfur 90WSulfur Dry FlowableSulfur® DFSuperior Spray Oil N.W.Supreme OilSurround® CF Crop ProtectantSuspend® SCTailgunner™Talstar® S Select InsecticideTetraCURB™ MAXTHAT® Flowable SulfurThimet® 20-G EZ Load®Thimet® 20-G Lock 'N Load®Thimet® 20-G SmartBox®Thiolux®Trilogy® Fungicide/Miticide/InsecticideTriple Crown™ Golf InsecticideTriTek™Tundra® LFCUltra-Pure® OilUp-Star® GoldUp-Star® SC Lawn and NurseryVelifer® Bioinsecticide/MiticideVelifer™ Fungal Contact Insecticide/MiticideVenerate® CGVenerate® XCVenerate™VistaSpray™ 415 Spray OilVistaSpray™ 440 Spray OilVistaSpray™ 470 Spray OilVoliam Xpress®Vulcan®Vydate® LWarrior II with Zeon Technology®Whirlwind®Wil-Gro® Hort Oil 98-2Wilbur-Ellis Dusting SulfurWillowood Bifenthrin 2ECWillowood Lambda 1ECWillowood Lambda-Cy 1ECWisdom® FlowableWisdom® TC FlowableWrath® InsecticideYellow Jacket Flowable SulfurYellow Jacket Wettable Sulfur IIYuma® 4EZelto®