Sustainable Management Tactics for Control of Phyllotreta cruciferae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on Canola in Montana
Reddy, Gadi V. P.
Miller, John H.
Ophus, Victoria L.
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The crucifer flea beetle, Phyllotreta cruciferae (Goeze) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), has recently emerged as a serious pest of canola (Brassica napus L.) in Montana. The adult beetles feed on canola leaves, causing many small holes that stunt growth and reduce yield. In 2013, damage to canola seedlings was high (≈80%) in many parts of Montana, evidence that when flea beetles emerge in large numbers, they can quickly destroy a young canola crop. In the current study, the effectiveness of several biopesticides was evaluated and compared with two insecticides (deltamethrin and bifenthrin) commonly used as foliar sprays as well as seed treatment with an imidacloprid insecticide for the control of P. cruciferae under field conditions in 2013. The biopesticides used included an entomopathogenic nematode (Steinernema carpocapsae), two entomopathogenic fungi (Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium brunneum), neem, and petroleum spray oils. The control agents were delivered in combination or alone in a single or repeated applications at different times. The plant-derived compound neem (azadirachtin), petroleum spray oil, and fatty acids (M-Pede) only showed moderate effect, although they significantly reduced leaf injuries caused by P. cruciferae and resulted in higher canola yield than the untreated control. Combined use of B. bassiana and M. brunneum in two repeated applications and bifenthrin in five applications were most effective in reducing feeding injuries and improving yield levels at both trial locations. This indicates that entomopathogenic fungi are effective against P. cruciferae, and may serve as alternatives to conventional insecticides or seed treatments in managing this pest.
Reddy, G. V. P., K. Tangtrakulwanich, S. Wu, J.H. Miller, V.L. Ophus, and J. Prewett. 2014. Sustainable management tactics for control of Phyllotreta cruciferae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on canola in Montana. Journal of Economic Entomology 107(2): 661–666.