Swede Midge

Swede Midge is an insect pest of canola that has been introduced to Canada from northern Europe. This tiny yet destructive insect surfaced in Ontario and is now spreading east and west; becoming a real threat to canola producers. Swede Midge has been found in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and likely will be found in our province before too long. The midge is a very small mosquito-type insect that lays its eggs in the flower bud of the canola plant. The larvae that hatch from the eggs quickly begin to feed on the bud, inflicting a great deal of damage.

What To Look For

Adult Swede Midge Swede Midge larvae
Swede Midge larvae

Prevention

Although the Swede Midge is still some distance from the Peace Region, we need to be aware of its spread in the next few years. There are a number of ways to help prevent the establishment and spread within our County. The midge is not a very strong flyer, so the following guidelines will help to slow down its arrival:

  • Practice a good crop rotation program
  • Avoid planting canola near a field that has been previously seeded to canola, allowing 1,500 to 3,000 foot separation between fields
  • Wheat midge are not strong flyers so avoid seeding canola on canola to ensure there is no rapid increase in populations
  • Plant as early as possible to reduce chances of the midge being active during the canola crops most vulnerable time
  • Control all volunteer canola plants in other crops being grown