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.
Please contact your local county extension office for current information.