Authors: Gary L. Peairs . Palestriped flea beetle, Systena blanda Melsheimer, damage is very sporadic in sunflower.
The ability of flea beetles to maintain large overwintering populations has made them persistent spring pests of mustard and Argentine Brassica napus L. Flea beetles and feeding pits. Several species of flea beetles feed on plants belonging to the mustard family Brassicacae grown throughout the Canadian prairie provinces.
Here are tips on how to identify, control, and get rid of flea beetles. There are many species of flea beetles which attack numerous plants, but vegetable crops are most susceptible to these pests. The beetles are small and shiny, with large rear legs.
Photo 3. Damage to Chinese cabbage by the Chinese cabbage flea beetle, Phyllotreta undulata. Photo 4.
Flea beetle adults are small about 0. The pale-striped flea beetle has a broad white stripe down each brown wing. Flea beetles can overwinter on weed hosts surrounding fields and in soil and plant residues of previous susceptible crops such as tomatoes and other fruit and vegetable field crops.
Striped flea beetles, shown above, seem to have become the dominant species in many regions, with crucifer species harder to find. This has been observed in fields in central Alberta, in particular. Research shows that striped flea beetles emerge earlier than crucifer flea beetles, so one thought is that the crucifers have not emerged, yet.
The three most common flea beetle species found on canola on the Prairies: hop, crucifer and striped. You have two important reason to watch closely for striped flea beetles this year. They are more tolerant of seed treatments currently on the market, so striped flea beetles are more likely than crucifer flea beetles to live through the seed treatment protection period.
Many species of flea beetles are found throughout the United States. They are small jumping insects similar in appearance to fleas commonly found in home gardens early in the growing season. A voracious pest, they will damage plants by chewing numerous small holes in the leaves, which make them look as if they have been peppered by fine buckshot.