“The flea beetles you are seeing now are the new generation of adults,” explains Scott Meers, insect management specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
“They will overwinter in headlands, shelterbelts and other areas of tall grass and or good cover. Next spring, they will emerge and move to the fields when the temperatures warm up to about 15 C or so.”
He says that these overwintered flea beetles are the ones that will constitute a risk for canola seedling next spring depending on the conditions the crop is experiencing at that time.
After feeding on early season canola, the adults lay eggs at the base of young canola plants. These eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the canola plant root hairs until they pupate in mid-to-late July.
“The larval feeding on canola root hairs is not considered economic,” says Meers. “New adults emerge early to mid-August and then feed to fatten up for the winter. Generally, we do not see economic issue with the new generation feeding.”
As for bertha armyworm, the team is hearing about high numbers of larvae in the Peace region. The team suggests producers should scout their canola fields. Watch Field Scouting for Bertha Armyworm to learn how to scout for the larvae in the field.
Planning is underway for the final two surveys of 2019 - wheat midge and wheat stem sawfly. The team is looking for 2019 wheat fields adjacent to 2018 wheat fields to survey. Producers will receive the results from those fields in early December. Southern Alberta farmers with wheat stem sawfly issues are also asked to contact the team to have their fields surveyed.
For timely and accurate insect management information and resources, go to the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network.
For more information and to learn more about wheat field surveys, contact: