The Cereal Leaf Beetle is an invasive insect that feeds on cereals and grasses.  

What is the Risk?

The Cereal Leaf Beetle enjoys feeding on plants such as oats, barley, wheat, timothy, and fescue. Larvae and adults feed on the plant leaves by chewing on large strips of tissue between the leaf veins. Thought the risk is currently low in the County, significant yield loss has occurred in other parts of North America.

What to Look For

Larvae have a brown head and yellow body and may also appear black in their early stages due to a fecal coating. Adults have a metallic blue head with a bright orange and red body and grow to be about 6mm in length.

           Cereal Leaf Beetle larvae                                   Cereal Leaf Beetle Adult

                          Larvae                                                                                      Adult


It is important to monitor crops in the spring to check for leaf injury. Though the Cereal Leaf Beetle has not yet reached economic thresholds in Alberta, there are still ways you can help control its spread:

  • Consider natural enemies of the Cereal Leaf Beetle, such as: lady beetles, parasitoids, and mites
  • Maintain good soil fertility and remember that nitrogen fertility promotes crop strength
  • Avoid using insecticides unless necessary to avoid disturbing the Beetle’s natural enemies

Related Links

Cereal Leaf Beetle threat can be fought by introducing wasps

Agri-Facts Cereal Leaf Beetle