Cereal leaf beetle was first discovered in Alberta in 2005, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba finding populations shortly thereafter. As its name suggests, the insect prefers to feed on cereals, though it may extend its host range to grasses, even occasionally feeding on corn. Both adults and larvae feed on the leaves in strips between veins, causing a window-pane appearance. Thus far, Tetrastichus julis, a parasitic wasp has been able to keep populations of cereal leaf beetle low, but growers are encouraged to continue to monitor fields for the pest and to report any populations outside of main infestation areas.
Related: Helping Beneficial Insects Feel at Home
In this Wheat School, John Gavloski, entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD), provides a short description of the cereal leaf beetle, talks about the appearance of cereal leaf beetle in new areas and what MAFRD is doing to get ahead of population expansion.
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