Winter Grain Mite in Small Grains

David Owens, Extension Entomologist,

Winter grain mites are active in small grain fields. These mites prefer cool weather with temperatures of 40-60°F. They hide once the sun comes up, so you will need to look for them first thing in the morning or at dusk or on cloudy days, such as what we’ve been having lately. They can be present in a lot of fields, but only rarely cause issues — but if you have had issues with them in the past, now is a good time to be looking for them. Grain mites are worse on drought stressed, small plants, and more abundant in no-till fields following corn. More information can be found at our fact sheet: