Pulse School: Preventing damage by the pea leaf weevil

Notching on leaves caused by pea leaf weevils.

As peas and fababeans emerge, at least one potentially devastating pest already has made an appearance — the pea leaf weevil.

In this Pulse School episode, we talk about how to deal with the weevils if you are seeing them now, economic thresholds for control, and how to avoid them in the future.

Pulse research scientist Robyn Bowness-Davidson explains the pea leaf weevil has historically been a problem in southern Alberta, but over the years it has made its way north. There were high levels of pea leaf weevil pressure in southwest Saskatchewan and southern Alberta in 2016.

Many farmers think the problem is when the weevils start to feed on the leafs, but Bowness-Davidson says the big problem is often found deeper.

“Once the [adults] start feeding, not very long after they start laying their eggs in the soil right at the base of the plant. The larvae goes down and they start feeding on the nodules,” she explains.

She adds seed treatments are still an important tool for managing against the pea leaf weevil.

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