Winter Grain Mite, Penthaleus major

Hosts: Wheat, etc.
Symptoms: Mites are not true insects, but are closely related to ticks and spiders. Dark brown, with orange-red legs and an orange or red spot on the upper abdomen. There are two generations of winter grain mite each year. The first begins in the fall, as oversummering eggs hatch. The second generation begins sometime in January, and reaches peak numbers in March. These mites feed on the leaf sheaths and shoots near the ground. They move up the plant at night and on cloudy days. Leaves take on a silvery gray color when injured and leaf tips may turn brown.
Control: Please contact your local county extension office for current information.
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