Flea Beetles

Flea Beetles are found in varying degrees of infestation within the County. The two types found here are the Striped and Crucifer. These insects can inflict serious damage, often in a short time period if numbers are high. Striped Beetles emerge sooner than the Crucifer and are more active feeders thereby causing greater damage. Damage to canola plants occurs mostly at the early stages of growth when the plants are more vulnerable. Flea Beetles are active during cool weather as well as warm and dry weather when they fly to areas throughout the field.

What To Look For

Heavy feeding damage Fleas on volunteer canola
Late stage damage Striped Flea vs. Crucifer Flea

Prevention

Canola has the ability to withstand a moderate amount of damage from Flea Beetles. Unfortunately insect numbers sometimes get to thresholds where the damage can be a serious economic problem. Through a combination of preventive strategies it is possible to reduce the impact of these pests:

  • Use an Integrated Pest Management program which will favour an increase in natural predators
  • Plant seed with high germination and strong vigour
  • Treat seed with recommended product at label rates
  • Practice good crop rotations by growing cereals or legumes 3 out of 4 years between canola
  • Control volunteer canola in other crops
  • Increase seeding rates to allow for more tolerance to damage
  • Scout fields regularly during spring season
  • Spray with recommended insecticide at label rates