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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

flour mite (Acarus siro)

Host plants / species affected
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)
Avena sativa (oats)
Brassica napus var. napus (rape)
Camellia sinensis (tea)
Fabaceae (leguminous plants)
Glycine max (soyabean)
Hordeum vulgare (barley)
Linum usitatissimum (flax)
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)
Poaceae (grasses)
Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)
stored products (dried stored products)
Triticum aestivum (wheat)
wheat flour
Zea mays (maize)
List of symptoms/signs
Fruit  -  external feeding
Seeds  -  external feeding
Description
The body of A. siro is colourless, the legs and the extremities of the gnathosoma vary from pale rose to a darker red or reddish brown. The body length (idosoma) of the male averages 0.44 mm; females are a little larger. Griffiths (1964a, b) gave a full description of the adult and pre-adult stages, including the phoretic hypopal stage.
Prevention and control

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


Impact
A. siro is undoubtably one of the most serious pests of stored foodstuffs, although care must be taken when citing references prior to 1970 in that records for A. siro will involve incidences of the occurrence of the two closely related species in the A. siro complex (Griffiths, 1970).

The major damage to whole cereal grains and other seeds, for example oilseed rape, linseed, pulses and various spices, is caused by the preferential attacks that mites make on the germ, which causes losses in germination viability. Odours build up in heavy infestations, caused by mites' lipid secretions. This musty or minty smell, together with the large numbers of live and dead mite bodies, is a major factor in rejecting foodstuffs from sale. These effects on the quality and hygienic condition of stored foodstuffs are discussed by Solomon (1946, 1962), Pulpan and Verner (1965), Smith (1967), Griffiths et al. (1976), and Sinha (1984).
Related treatment support
 
External factsheets
HGCA On-Farm Information, Home-Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), English language
University of California IPM Pest Management Guidelines, University of California, 2009, English language
University of California IPM Pest Management Guidelines, University of California, 2009, English language
University of California IPM Pest Management Guidelines, University of California, 2012, English language
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