Redlegged Earth Mites are on the move!

Redlegged Earth Mite


The Redlegged earth mite is active during the cooler and wetter months of May to November. They hatch in autumn after the first break in the season, RLEM eggs laid during the winter-spring period are orange in colour and about 0.1 mm in length. They are laid singly on the underside of leaves and the bases of host plants. RLEM cause damage to field crops and pastures. Typical mite damage appears as 'silvering' of the attacked foliage but can sometimes be confused with frost damage. RLEM are most damaging to newly establishing pastures and emerging crops, greatly reducing seedling survival and development.

Carefully inspect susceptible pastures and crops from autumn to spring for the presence of mites and evidence of damage. It is especially important to inspect crops regularly in the first three to five weeks after sowing. Mites are best detected feeding on the leaves in the morning or on overcast days. In autumn sprays should be applied after the break of season and after the over summer or diapause eggs have hatched.


Autumn sprays:

Controlling first generation RLEM before they have a chance to lay eggs is the only effective way to avoid the need for a second spray. Pesticides should be applied within three weeks of the first appearance of mites, before the adults begin to lay their eggs.

Spring sprays:

Research has shown that one accurately timed spring spray can significantly reduce populations of RLEM the following autumn. This approach works by killing the mites before they start producing eggs in mid-late spring and when there are no eggs left to hatch. Tools such as TIMERITE® can help farmers identify the optimum date for spraying in their area.

If you would like more information on RLEM control or an assessment of your property please ask one of our friendly staff in store.