Flea Beetle

Overview

Flea beetles can impact a variety of crops in Canada. While the specific crops affected may vary depending on the region, some common crops that can be impacted by flea beetles include canola; potatoes; cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower; and leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach. It's important for farmers to monitor their crops for flea beetle activity and take appropriate measures to control them if necessary.

(Image Credit: Gerald Holmes, Strawberry Center, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org)

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How to Identify Flea Beetles

Belonging to the Chrysomelidae family, flea beetles are jumping insects. They can vary in appearance and behavior depending on the species and region. 

These hard-bodied beetles are small, usually measuring around 2–3 mm in length. They are typically shiny and black, but some species may have different colors or patterns, including bronze or metallic blue.

Here are a few ways to determine if these pests have invaded your farm.

Feeding Damage

Farmers should regularly inspect their crops, especially the leaves, for any signs of feeding damage. Flea beetles create small, round holes in the leaves, giving them a characteristic "shot-hole" appearance. Look for these tiny holes, as well as any skeletonized or chewed leaves.

Presence of Flea Beetles

Farmers can also directly observe the presence of flea beetles on the plants. Look for these beetles on the leaves, stems, or even in the soil around the plants. 

Flea Beetle Larvae

In addition to adult beetles, farmers should also be aware of flea beetle larvae. These larvae are small, slender, and worm-like in appearance. They may be found feeding on the roots or underground parts of the plants.

Sticky Traps

Another method to monitor flea beetles is by using sticky traps. These traps can be placed near the crops to capture adult beetles. By examining the trapped beetles, farmers can assess their population levels.

(Image Credit: Gerald Holmes, Strawberry Center, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org)

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Geographic Impact of Flea Beetles

Flea beetles have a wide geographic impact and can be found in various regions across Canada. They are known to be present in both urban and rural areas, affecting agricultural crops as well as ornamental plants in gardens and landscapes.

Flea beetles are generally found throughout Canada, including provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. Their specific geographic impact and overall severity varies depending on factors such as population levels, climate, crop types, and local crop management practices. 

(Image Credit: Attribution: James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster / license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en)

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Timing of Flea Beetles Emergence

The timing of flea beetle infestations can vary depending on the region and specific crop but they generally become active in the spring when temperatures start to warm up. 

It’s important to monitor for flea beetle activity during the early stages of plant growth, as this is when they can cause the most damage.

How Flea Beetles Impact Crops

Known for their feeding behavior, which involves chewing small holes in the leaves of plants, flea beetles can impact crops in a variety of ways. 

1. Reduced Photosynthesis

When flea beetles feed on the leaves of plants, they create small holes that can reduce the surface area available for photosynthesis. This ultimately affects the crop’s growth and yield potential.

2. Stunted Growth

Severe flea beetle infestations can cause stunted growth in plants. The constant feeding by these beetles can weaken the plants, resulting in reduced height and overall size.

3. Transmission of Diseases

Flea beetles can also transmit certain plant diseases, such as bacterial wilt and viral infections. When they feed on infected plants, they can pick up pathogens and spread them to healthy plants, further compromising crop health.

4. Crop Losses

If left uncontrolled, flea beetle infestations can lead to significant crop losses. In severe cases, the damage can be extensive enough to cause complete crop failure.

How to Manage Flea Beetles in Crops

To minimize the impact of flea beetles on crops, it is important for farmers to implement integrated pest management strategies. This may include practices such as crop rotation, planting resistant varieties, using physical barriers like row covers, and applying appropriate insecticides when necessary. 

Regular monitoring of crops is crucial to detect flea beetle activity early. Get ready to take action to protect crops once pest impact reaches 20% damage.

How Flea Beetles Impact Canola

Flea beetles can have a significant impact on canola crops in Canada. The two types that are causing economic damage in the Canadian Prairie canola fields are striped flea beetles and crucifer flea beetles. 

Striped flea beetles will be present right after seeding while crucifer flea beetles will show up when it warms up to 14 ℃. Striped flea beetles are considered the most damaging as they appear as soon as the canola seedlings emerge, which can result in a thinner stand at the end. 

How to Manage Flea Beetles in Canola

FBN® offers Deltamethrin 5 EC, which has a similar active as in Decis®, to help control both types of flea beetles. It’s recommended to spray it when they are most active and to avoid windy or cooler days when it gets below 5 ℃. Deltamethrin rate of application will range between 40 and 60 ml/Ac. It can be tank-mixed with both glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium. Growers should start spraying as soon as the damage level gets to 25% of the leaf area or earlier if the pest numbers are high. 

If the damage level passes 40–50%, but the growing point is still green, it’s recommended to add some stress relief products to the tank-mix to stimulate the root growth. Recommended products include:

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Disclaimer

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Every product that labels FLEA BEETLE as a weed, pest, or disease the product can be applied against is shown below. Click any product for label and more information.
Acceleron® IDL-810Acenthrin™Acephate 90 PrillAcephate 90 Prill Select™Acephate 90 WDGAcephate 90 WSPAcephate 97 WDGAcephate 97UP®Acronyx™ 2 FlowableAcronyx™ 4 FActara®Adage™Admire® ProAdvise® 2FLAdvise® FourAdvise® FourAlias® 2FAlias® 4FAllectus® SCAloft® GC GAloft® GC SCAmbush® 25WAmbush® InsecticideAnarchy 30 SGAnarchy 70 WPAnnihilate™ LVAnnihilate™ LV InsecticideAnnihilate™ SPAnnihilate™ SP InsecticideAnniston 70 WP InsecticideArctic® 3.2 ECArgyle™ ODArtistArVida® 30 SGArVida™ 70 WPAsana® XLAssail® 30 SG InsecticideAssail® 30SC InsecticideAssail® 70WP InsecticideAthena™ Insecticide/MiticideAttendant® 480 FSAttendant® 600 FSAvenger™ Bold S3™Avenger™ S3™Axcess™ Insecticide Seed TreatmentAzatrol® EC InsecticideAzera® InsecticideAzomar™Batallion™ 10 WSPBatallion™ 2 ECBatallion™ LFCBattery® 2.5 ECBaythroid® XLBelay® 50 WDGBelay® InsecticideBesiege® InsecticideBi-Dash 2EBifen 2 AG GoldBifen 25% ECBifender® FC InsecticideBifenthrin 2EC InsecticideBifenture® 10DFBifenture® ECBifenture® LFCBisect® LBlackhawk® Naturalyte® Insect ControlBolton™BotaniGard® 22WPBotaniGard® 22WPBotaniGard® ESBotaniGard® ESBotaniGard® MaxxBoteGHA® ESBracket® 90 WDGBracket® 97Bracket® 97 (Soluble Insecticide)Bracket® 97 WDGBrigade® 2EC Insecticide/MiticideBrigade® WSB InsecticideBrigadier® InsecticideButeo® startCapture® 2EC-CALCapture® LFR®Carbaryl 4LCarbaryl 4LCavalry™ IICelite® 610Certador® insecticideCheminova Malathion® 57%Chlorpyrifos 15GChlorpyrifos 4E AG (Adama)Chlorpyrifos 4E-AG (Drexel)Cobalt® AdvancedCobalt® InsecticideConcur® Seed TreatmentConsero®Consero® (Gamma-cyhalothrin)Cormoran®Couraze® 2FCouraze® 4Couraze® 4FCrossoverCrossover® ProCruiser® 5FSCruiser® 70 WSCruiserMaxx® PotatoCruiserMaxx® Potato ExtremeCruiserMaxx® Vibrance® PotatoCrusader 2MECrusader® 1ECDanitol® 2.4 EC Spray Insecticide-MiticideDeadzone™Debug® ONDebug® ONDebug® OptimoDebug® OptimoDebug® TresDebug® TresDebug® TurboDebug® TurboDecathlon™ 20 WPDeclare® InsecticideDeclare® InsecticideDelegate® WG InsecticideDelta Gold®Diazinon 50WDiazinon AG500Diazinon AG500Diazinon AG600 WBC InsecticideDibrom® 8 Emulsive (RUP)Discipline® 2ECDiscipline® CADoubleTake™Durivo®Dursban® 50W-WSP Specialty InsecticideDyna-Shield® Imidacloprid 5Ecozin® Plus 1.2% MEElevest™Elliptica™Endigo® ZCEndigo® ZCXEnkounter™ InsecticideEntrust® Naturalyte Insect ControlEntrust® SC Naturalyte Insect ControlEthos® XB Insecticide/FungicideEverGreen® Crop Protection EC 60-6EverGreen® Pro 60-6Exirel®Exirel® Insect Control (With Cyazypyr®)Fanfare® 2ECFanfare® ECFanfare® ESFastac® CS insecticideFastac™ EC insecticideFirestone™Flagship® 25WGFortenza®Frenzy AttackFrenzy VelozFyfanon®Fyfanon® 57% ECFyfanon® 8 lb. EmulsionGaucho® 600 FlowableGCS Bifenthrin 2ECGCS Bifenthrin LFCGladiator® Insecticide/MiticideGovern® 4EGrandevo® CGGrandevo® WDGGrizzly® TooGrizzly® Z InsecticideHarvanta® 50SL InsecticideHatchet® InsecticideHelix XTra®Helix® Vibrance®Hero® EWHero® InsecticideHolster™ Insecticide (Caution)Holster™ Insecticide (Warning)IMAX PlusImidan® 70-W (Water Soluble Bags)Imidashot DF InsecticideIntruder® Max 70WPKaiso® 24 WGKarate® InsecticideKarate® with Zeon™ TechnologyKendo® 22.8 CSKendo™ InsecticideKilter®L - C InsecticideLada® 2FLambda TLambda-Cy AGLambda-Cy™ EC Insecticide-RUPLambdafos™ InsecticideLamcap® IILamcap™Lamdec™ InsecticideLancer® FCLancer™ 2ECLannate® LVLannate® LV InsecticideLannate® SPLannate® SPLanveer LV™Latitude®Legend™ 5L STLeverage® 360Livid® 90 PrillLivid® 97 PrillLorsban® 15G Granular InsecticideLorsban® 15G Smartbox®Lorsban® 75 WGLorsban® Advanced InsecticideLorsban®-4E InsecticideLumiderm®Lumiderm™ (DuPont)Lumisure®Macho® 2.0 FLMacho® 4.0 FlowableMacho® 480 STMacho® 600 STMalathion 5Malathion 5ECMalathion 8Malathion 8 AquamulMalathion 8 FlowableMalice® 2FMalice® 75 WSPMarathon® IIMatch-Up™ InsecticideMavrik Aquaflow®Menace® 7.9% FlowableMenace® GC 7.9% FlowableMeridian® 0.33GMeridian® 25WGMidac® FCMidash 2SC Ag InsecticideMidash Forte InsecticideMinecto® ProMolt-X®Montana® 2FMontana® 4FMustang® InsecticideMustang® MaxxMycotrol® ESOMycotrol® ESOMycotrol® WPOMycotrol® WPONipsIt INSIDE® InsecticideNitro Shield®Nitro Shield® IVNudrin® LVNudrin® SPNufarm Chlorpyrifos SPC 2Nufarm Chlorpyrifos SPC 4Nufarm Lambda-Cyhalothrin 1EC InsecticideNufos® 4E (RUP)Nuprid® 2SC Soil/Foliar InsecticideNuprid® 4.6F ProNuprid® 4F Max InsecticideObelisk™Omni® Brand Imidacloprid 2F Flowable InsecticideOrthene® 97Paradigm®Paradigm® VCPasada® 1.6FPerm-UP® 25DFPerm-UP® 3.2 ECPermaStar™ AG InsecticidePermethrinPermethrin 3.2 AGPermethrin 3.2 ECPermethrin 3.2 EC (70506-9-5905)Phoenix Firebird® ProPlatinum®Platinum® 75 SGPoncho® 600 Seed TreatmentPoncho® BetaPoncho® Votivo® Seed TreatmentPounce® 25WPPrey® 1.6Pro-Mate® BifenthrinProaxis® InsecticideProaxis® InsecticideProaxis™PROKIL Cryolite 50 DustPROKIL Cryolite 96Prosper® EverGol®Province® IIProvince™Provoke™Punisher™Pyganic® Crop Protection EC 1.4 IIPyganic® Crop Protection EC 5.0 IIPyganic® SpecialtyQuasar™ 8.5 SLRadiant® SC InsecticideRavage®Renestra™ InsecticideResonate™ 480 STResonate™ 600 STRespect® EC insecticideRespect® insecticideReTurn™ReTurn™ XLReveal®Reveal® CAReveal® Endurx™Revere® 2.0Revize® Imida STRidgeback™Rimon® 0.83ECRuckus™ LFR® InsecticideS-FenvaloStarSarisa™Saurus™Scimitar® CSScimitar® GCScorpion® 35SL InsecticideSeeker™ Insecticide with Isoclast™ ActiveSeguroSenator® 600 FSSerpent™ 1 ECSevin® 4FSevin® SLSevin® XLR PlusSharda Imidacloprid 5SCSherpa® InsecticideSilencer®Silencer® VXN™Skyraider®SlugbugSniper®Sniper® Helios®Sniper® LFR®SpinTor® 2SC Naturalyte® Insect ControlStallion® BrandSTartUP™ IMIDA Seed TreatmentSteed® InsecticideSuccess® Naturalyte® Insect ControlSultrus™Surround® CF Crop ProtectantSurround® WP Crop ProtectantSuspend® SCSuspend® SCSwagger®Tailgunner™Talstar® S Select InsecticideTempest™ Dual-Action InsecticideTempo® SC UltraTempo® SC UltraTempo® Ultra WPTenkoz® Acephate 97Tenkoz® Cypermethrin (Caution)Tenkoz® Cypermethrin (Warning)Tenkoz® Permethrin 3.2 ECTepera® PlusTepera® Plus HDTepera® Plus HDTersus® InsecticideThimet® 20-G EZ Load®Thimet® 20-G Lock 'N Load®Thimet® 20-G SmartBox®Tide Acephate 90 WDGTide Imidacloprid 2FTide Imidacloprid 4FTombstone™Tombstone™ Helios®Torac®Triple Crown™ InsecticideTristar® 8.5SLTundra® EC (1381-196)Tundra® LFCTundra® SupremeUP-Cyde® 2.5 ECUp-Star® GoldUp-Star® SC Lawn and NurseryVenom® InsecticideVerimark®Verimark® Insect ControlViloprid™ FC 1.7Voliam Flexi®Voliam Xpress®Voltage Endurx®Vulcan®Vydate® C-LVVydate® LWarhawk®Warhawk® ClearForm®Warrior II with Zeon Technology®Whirlwind®Widow® InsecticideWillowood Bifenthrin 2ECWillowood Imidacloprid 2SCWillowood Imidacloprid 4SCWillowood Imidacloprid 4STWillowood Lambda 1ECWillowood Lambda-Cy 1ECWisdom® FlowableWisdom® TC FlowableWrangler® InsecticideYuma® 4EZyrate®