Mite infestation: NZ growers urged to be vigilant and report

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Mite infestation: NZ growers urged to be vigilant and report

NEW Zealand potato growers are being urged to get in touch with Biosecurity New Zealand if they find a new type of infestation in their crops.

THE tomato Red Spider Mite was discovered in June 2020.  Two populations of the spider mite (Tetranychus evansi) had been found as part of routine surveillance in Auckland – near the airport and in Pakuranga. The mites were found on nightshade weeds – one of their preferred host plants.

Under the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA), Biosecurity New Zealand is working closely with the GIA horticultural and arable industry partners, to determine the potential impacts of the discovery and appropriate actions to take.

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The tomato red spider mite’s main hosts are plants in the Solanaceae family, including potatoes. It is commonly found on weeds including nightshades, shepherd’s purse, cleavers and fat hen.

Growers who think you have found a tomato red spider mite infestation, are being asked to call the Biosecurity New Zealand pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66. 

Photo: By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium

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