Flea Beetles – Stem Feeding Noticed

Flea beetle spraying was reported in many locations across the Prairies. Stem feeding was also noticed in a number of areas. Stem feeding is not a concern if small pitting is occurring. However, if significant stem feeding is occurring (impeding flow of water and nutrients in the stem or stems being clipped off), then a foliar insecticide may be required. Canola is most susceptible to flea beetle damage during the cotyledon to 2-leaf stage. Flea beetle pressure is a significant threat this year for a number of reasons. 1) Seed treatment protection may be tapering off in some of the earliest seeded fields. 2) Thin stands are resulting in a higher concentration of beetles relative to the plant stand. 3) Frost and poor growing conditions have resulted in slightly damaged, slow growing plants that are more susceptible to flea beetle feeding.