Call For Hemp Russet Mites – Are You Willing To Share?

Hello! My name is Eze Pojmann-Ezeonyilo and I am graduate student at Purdue interested in studying the hemp russet mite (Aculops cannabicola). Despite being one of the worst pests of Cannabis sp., little is known about the hemp russet mite. To learn more about this pest, I hope to start a colony of hemp russet mites to observe and research. I plan to investigate whether manipulating greenhouse light quality with LEDs can be an effective strategy for managing the hemp russet mite. Learning more about this mite will lead to better strategies for avoiding and controlling infestations. Contact me if you have hemp russet mites that you would be willing to share in order to advance our understanding of this important pest.

What Are Hemp Russet Mites?

The hemp russet mite (Aculops cannabicola) is a microscopic mite that can destroy a hemp or cannabis crop. It feeds exclusively on Cannabis sp. Viewed under a microscope, the mite has a light brown to white, tubular body with four short legs at its head. Large numbers of mites on a plant can appear as a light brown powder.

 

 

Image source: John M. McPartland & Karl W. Hillig (2003) The Hemp Russet Mite, Journal of Industrial Hemp, 8:2, 109, DOI: 10.1300/J237v08n02_10

Image source: John M. McPartland & Karl W. Hillig (2003) The Hemp Russet Mite, Journal of Industrial Hemp, 8:2, 109, DOI: 10.1300/J237v08n02_10

Why It’s Important

Even though hemp russet mite is one of the most serious pests of hemp, little is known about it. This lack of knowledge can make controlling the mite difficult. By providing hemp russet mites, you will give researchers the opportunity to learn more about this pest and how to manage it. If you suspect you have hemp russet mites, please reach out to one of the contacts listed below.

Symptoms

While the hemp russet mite can’t be seen with the naked eye, the damage it inflicts on hemp is visible.

Symptoms of an infestation include:

  • Yellowing on leaf edges and between veins
  • Stunted, dry or wrinkled leaves
  • Leaves curling upward at the base
  • Flower pistols that dry up prematurely
  • A light brown powder on the plant
Image source: Certified Kind (2017) Hemp Russet Mite: How to Recognize Damage and Strategies for Prevention and Control

Image source: Certified Kind (2017) Hemp Russet Mite: How to Recognize Damage and Strategies for Prevention and Control

 

Image source: Certified Kind (2017) Hemp Russet Mite: How to Recognize Damage and Strategies for Prevention and Control

Image source: Certified Kind (2017) Hemp Russet Mite: How to Recognize Damage and Strategies for Prevention and Control

Contact

Eze Pojmann-Ezeonyilo, Graduate Student, Purdue University, epojmann@purdue.edu, 573-489-5331 or Dr. Laura Ingwell, Assistant Professor, Purdue University, lingwell@purdue.edu, 765-494-6167

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