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Pea Leaf Weevil: Monitoring and Control


Farming Smarter has pea leaf weevil under a microscope this year for the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network.

Pea Leaf Weevil populations in southern Alberta remain at levels that could cause concern in 2021 particularly in areas that had extensive damage in surveys last year. With our survey, we hope to better understand the patterns of pea leaf weevil. This will allow us to combat them and minimize the damage they cause.

Over its 11 years working with the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network, Farming Smarter previously surveyed diamondback moth, Bertha army worm, wheat midge, wheat stem sawfly and cabbage seedpod weevil.

pea leaf weevil damage
The damage done to by pea leaf weevils on the leaves of a pea plant

In 2021, we will survey five fields in Lethbridge County and five fields in Taber County. At these fields, we will survey 10 plants, move 25 meters, and then survey another 10 plants for a total of five times in each field.

While adults chew the leaves and leave visible damage, our main concern is the larvae. Pea leaf weevils lay eggs in the soil, and when they hatch, larvae attack the root nodules. This destroys the nitrogen fixing nodules reducing the plants ability thrive.

Seed treatment is the most effective way of countering the weevil and has visual results. Seed treatments work best to combat the larvae’s attempts to get at the root nodule and protects the plant underneath the soil.

We encourage you to scout your fields for pea leaf weevils and reach out to a local retailer to find the best seed treatment for your crops.

Remember, the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network is there for you! You can contact Shelley Barkley for questions and helpful pest control insights. Watch our plot shot with Trevor Deering for more information on our survey.