Field peas

Insect pest risk

High risk Moderate risk Low risk
Establishment pests
  • History of high mite pressure.
  • Previous crops that hosted earth mite populations (e.g. pastures).
  • Cool, dry or wet conditions (slow crop emergence and seedling growth).
  • Weedy crop and/or crop edges hosting RLEM that may move into germinating crop.
Following a crop with reduced hosting capacity for RLEM (e.g. faba bean, narrow-leafed lupin and lentils).
  • Following a crop in which RLEM reproduction is low, or where RLEM have been controlled in prior to summer diapause (e.g.  chickpeas, winter cereal, albus lupins).
  • Rapid emergence and establishment of seedlings.
Pea weevil
  • Repeated production of field peas in a district increases likelihood of pea weevil.
  • Poor pea weevil control (high carryover populations).
  • History of pea weevil in the district.
  • Proximity to oversummering sites (e.g. shed, trees).
  • No history of pea weevil in the district.
  • Area-wide implementation of a range of pea weevil management strategies.
Native budworm
  • Wet winters in breeding areas of central Australia + suitable weather conditions that bring moths from west to east result in spring migrations.
  • Repeated influxes of moths over long periods, results in need for continuous monitoring and potentially repeat infestations.
  • Broadleaf weeds hosting cutworm and helicoverpa that then move into the crop as large, damaging larvae.
  • Hot weather in spring (can cause small larvae to burrow into pods).
  • Wet harvest weather (pods are ‘softer’ for longer and susceptible to damage right up to harvest).
  • High beneficial insect activity.
  • Dry winters in breeding areas (low population source)
  • Absence of frontal wind systems that provide opportunities for migration.
Aphids and virus
  • High rainfall (>500 mm) or irrigation district.
  • Proximity of crop to ‘green bridge’ as a potential source of aphids and virus. For example, lucerne, medics, clover, volunteer pulses and broadleaf weeds.


  • Wet autumn and spring (promotes growth of weed hosts).
  • Sowing into standing stubble reduces aphid landing.
  • Seed dressings may provide some benefit against persistent viruses.
  • Rapidly closing canopy that ‘shades’ out unthrifty, virus infected plants – limits further transmission.
  • Sowing virus resistant cultivars and certified virus-free seed.
  • Early sowing allows flowering before aphid populations peak.
Slugs and snails
  • Annual rainfall >500 mm
  • Above average spring–autumn rainfall
  • No till stubble retained
  • Previous paddock history of slugs and snails
  • Summer volunteers and weeds
  • No sheep in enterprise
  • 450-500 mm annual rainfall
  • Tillage or burnt stubble only
  • Sheep on stubble
  • <450 mm annual rainfall
  • Drought
  • Tillage and burnt stubble
  • No volunteers and weeds

Pest incidence

Pest Crop stage






Earth mites Damaging Present Present
Lucerne flea Damaging Present
Cutworms Damaging
Slugs and snails* Damaging Damaging
Aphids Damaging Damaging Present Present
Thrips Present Present
Pea weevil Present Damaging Damaging Damaging
Helicoverpa Present Damaging Damaging Damaging
Etiella Present Present Damaging Damaging
 * Snails may also cause grain con­t­a­m­i­na­tion at har­vest
Present Present in crop but gen­er­ally not dam­ag­ing
Dam­ag­ing Crop sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­age and loss.

Key IPM considerations for field peas

  • Tolerate early damage. Field peas can compensate for early damage by setting new buds and pods to replace those damaged by pests.
  • Monitor native budworm infestations as mortality of small larvae can be high. Refer to records from successive checks to help interpret check data and make decisions about the need for, and timing of, control.
  • Post treatment checks are critical to determine efficacy and possible reinfestation prior to harvest.

More information:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Scroll to top