Insect pest risk

High risk Moderate risk Low risk
Early crops at greater risk. Use of non-selective sprays in the vegetative stage can flare helicoverpa and mites.  
Dryland crops in dry summers, especially if there is an end-of-season drought with conditions favouring aflatoxin. Irrigated peanuts with access to late season irrigation.
Peanut scarabs
  • Crops following peanuts in the previous year, and with a peanut scarab history.
  • Paddocks in sugar cane areas with cane grub history, especially in North Queensland.
  • Krasnozem and euchrozem soils.
Crops planted adjacent to paddocks planted with peanuts in the previous year, and with a peanut scarab history.
White-fringed weevil (WFW)
Crops following a previous WFW host (e.g. potatoes in NQ, or lucerne and chickpeas in other regions). Crops close to lucerne (risk of weevils walking from lucerne field).
Monolepta (redshouldered leaf beetle)
Proximity to sugar cane and horticultural hosts of this pest   (Atherton Tablelands region at greatest risk).
Silverleaf whitefly (SLW)
Crops planted close to earlier maturing SLW hosts, especially cotton and cucurbits.
  • High SLW populations can infest less preferred hosts.
  • Using non-selective chemicals in the vegetative stages may flare SLW.
Two-spotted and peanut mites
  • Spraying non selective insecticides in the vegetative stages, may flare two-spotted mites.
  • Increased risk of peanut mite infestations in drier years.
Lucerne leafhopper
Cutting of lucerne hay crops in close proximity to peanuts.

Pest incidence

Pest Crop stage






White fringe weevil Damaging Present Present
False wireworm Damaging
Cutworms Damaging Damaging Present
Whitegrubs Damaging Damaging
Armyworms Damaging
Thrips Damaging Damaging Present
Mirids Damaging
Leafhoppers Damaging Damaging Damaging Present
Helicoverpa Damaging Damaging Damaging Present
Mites Damaging Damaging Damaging
Silverleaf whitefly Damaging Damaging Damaging Present
Cluster caterpillar Damaging Damaging Damaging
Etiella Damaging


Present Present in crop but gen­er­ally not dam­ag­ing
Dam­ag­ing Crop sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­age and loss

Key IPM considerations for peanuts

  • Peanuts are most susceptible to insect pests from flowering onwards. Excessive early damage can delay harvest.
  • Peanuts can tolerate higher pest activity because plants are indeterminate and can compensate for early damage by setting new buds and pods to replace those damaged by pests.
  • In drought years, etiella is a major problem in dryland crops.
  • Western flower thrips are a potential threat to peanuts, mainly because they transmit tobacco spotted wilt virus (TSWV).
  • Two species of leafhopper (lucerne and vegetable) occur in peanuts. Lucerne leafhopper can cause tip dieback (‘hopper burn’), which can stunt growth and reduce yield. Vegetable leafhoppers cause white stippling on the leaves, but do not impact on yield, even in drought-stressed plants.
  • Mites can become a problem in late crops in some regions, particularly where there is widespread use of non-selective pesticides. Two-spotted mite in peanuts can be controlled by the release of mass-produced predatory mites.

Further information

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