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Bug of the Month

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wheat stem sawfly

Bug of the Month – Wheat Stem Sawfly

Created October 15, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

The Wheat Stem Sawfly is an economic pest that pressures your crops inside & out. The Stem Sawfly can be scouted at the same time as Wheat Midge; meaning you can get two bugs with one stone! Scouting post-harvest will give you a better understanding of how future season populations in your fields. Wheat Stem […]

aphids western canada

Aphids in your cereals!?!?

Created August 24, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Each year, aphids emerge in cereal crops in a fairly regular pattern in Western Canada. Mid-July rolls around and, depending upon what’s been happening in the growing regions south of our Canadian border, winged cereal aphids could be catching a ride on the winds flowing northward. Flying to the greener pastures of the Western Canadian […]

lygus bug

2021: Year of the Lygus

Created July 26, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of the Month By Dr. Héctor Cárcamo Lygus bugs are native insects in Canada that feed on the buds, flowers and young seeds of most plants. They are a perennial pest in seed alfalfa and occasionally in other crops like canola. In 2021, there are reports of high lygus numbers in greenhouses in Quebec, […]

Alfalfa weevil larvae

Alfalfa Weevil

Created June 15, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of the Month By Dr. Boyd Mori The alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is one of the most important insect pests of alfalfa in North America and is especially destructive in alfalfa seed production regions in Canada. In western Canada, insecticides are the most common control strategy used to combat alfalfa weevil in […]

Flea beetle on potato plant

Flea beetles and canola

Created May 21, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of the Month We know some things, but there is lots to learn Musings by Dr. Hector Carcamo, AAFC-Lethbridge The two main species of flea beetle pests in canola are the crucifer (P. cruciferae) and the striped flea beetles (Phyllotreta striolata) . Adult flea beetles overwinter in leaf litter in shelter belts, field margins […]

A golden tortoise beetle sitting on sea holly By Dan Johnson

Tortoise Beetles in Alberta

Created April 21, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of the month April 2021 By Dan Johnson Lethbridge University I began seeing multiple species of tortoise beetles in Alberta in about 2012. By 2015, they were fairly common, like one every week, but I don’t think I saw any at all in 2020. It’s possible they were in Alberta before 2012 and range […]

Ridged and large setae of a pale green weevil showing two pores.

Pale Green Weevil

Created March 16, 2021 | Category: Bug of the Month

March 2021 Bug of the Month – Polydrusus impressifrons It appears the Pale Green weevil arrived in Alberta in the last decade. Medicine Hat recorded the first incidence in 2010. Subsequently, they showed up at Frank Lake in 2012, Alyderside in 2013 and Calgary in 2016.  According to Dr. Hector Carcamo, AAFC, “it is not […]

white pine tree

Bug of the Month Dec. 2020

Created December 18, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

White Pine Weevil By Hector Carcamo Ph. D. Another evil weevil: the white pine weevil is a pest of Christmas trees! White pine weevil feed on a large number of conifers including many that are planted in Christmas tree nurseries. The females prefer young trees to chew holes and lay eggs on the terminal leader. […]

Asian ladybug

Bug of the Month Nov. 2020

Created November 18, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

Asian ladybird beetle  (Harmonia axyridis) With Dr. Carcamo, John Acorn & Brendan Roy Farming Smarter recently hired a keen entomologist as a research technician, Brendan Roy, He is always alert to what might be crawling in the snow, say for example a multicolored ladybird beetle. Especially, when that ladybird beetle is a potential invasive pest. […]

Bug of the Month Sept. 2020

Created September 21, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of September is not a bug! By Héctor Cárcamo Slugs are a common nuisance in most people’s gardens, especially in wet spots and wet summers. In fact, they can also be a pest in farmers’ fields. In central Alberta, around the Lacombe – Ponoka region (and elsewhere) slugs have been observed at high densities […]

Bug of the Month

Created July 28, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bertha Armyworm Some bugs are cute, some are helpful, and some are creepy little pests. The Bertha Armyworm fits in the last category. This worm may be tiny, but the damage they can do to a crop can be gigantic. This little worm lives throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the interior of British Columbia, and our very […]

Bug of the Month

Created June 24, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

Saltmarsh Caterpillar or Woolly Bear By Héctor Cárcamo and Vincent Hervet Hector I heard another report of damage to canola on Twitter #abbugchat recently in addition to a direct query Vince and I handled previously. It’s important to note that people see damage then find these caterpillars because they are easy to spot. However, their […]


Bug of the Month May 2020

Created May 26, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

Pea Leaf Weevil by Asha Wijerathna, The Pea leaf weevil, (Sitona lineatus) is an insect that feeds on leguminaceous plants. Adult pea leaf weevils feed on a variety of legumes such as alfalfa, soybean, lupin and lentil to a lesser extent, but is a major pest of field pea and faba bean. Pea leaf weevils can […]

Watch for early cutworms

Created April 28, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

Bug of the Month By Hector Carcamo, Vincent Hervet and Bob Byers The earliest active cutworm species on the prairies is the early cutworm (Euxoa tristicula). It is a native species that had an outbreak in beet fields near Taber (around 1970 if I recall properly). Vincent Hervet Ph.D., Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, doesn’t believe […]

damsel bug

Bug of the Month March 2020

Created March 20, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

Damsel Bug (Nabis alternatus) by Dr. Hector Carcamo The Damsel Bug is probably one of the most common predators, and therefore beneficial insects, we find in all crops. It can be abundant in fields and is a generalist predator that will eat whatever it can find and subdue. Jennifer Otani, AAFC, did a laboratory study […]

Bug of the Month Feb. 2020

Created February 13, 2020 | Category: Bug of the Month

No Valentine? No worries….if you’re an aphid By Haley Catton February is a month for Valentines for us humans, but many insects don’t have to worry about such a thing. Aphids are one pest in crop fields that can reproduce without mating. Females actually give birth to live offspring that are clones of themselves. This […]

infected criboo

Bug of the Month Dec. 2019

Created December 10, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Reindeer Bot Fly Hypoderma tarandi By C. Lacombe I have a confession. I’m not as fond of bugs as the entomologists that enthusiastically contribute to this feature. Bug of the Month now has 3 years behind it, and I am eternally grateful to Dr. Hector Carcamo and his band of merry entomologists for the insights […]

Bug of the Month Nov. 2019

Created November 21, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Pests of stored grain by Vincent Hervet and Paul Fields Grain stored in bins can be infested with seed feeding insects. To maintain high quality grain, there is zero tolerance for live insects in grain sold into the commercial grain handling system. There are over a 100 different stored grain insects in Canada, but only […]

Bug of the Month Sept. 2019

Created September 16, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Army Cutworm/Miller Moth with Hector Carcamo, AAFC Bob Byers mentioned that army cutworm is back from its mountain holiday in Banff and area. It is busy laying eggs in farmers’ fields that have lots of green plants like weeds, maybe also winter wheat. They over winter as pupae and emerge in early June. Most of […]

Bug of the Month

Created May 23, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Wireworm With information from Dr. Hector Carcamo and Haley Catton AAFC research scientists. Dr. Haley Catton a Cereal Crop Entomology scientist and researcher points out that wireworm is a chronic pest in Canada and native to Alberta’s grasslands. They seem to prefer grain crops, but will attack most crops. As she mentions in the video, […]

Bug of the Month April 2019

Created April 24, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Glassy Cutworm Dr. Carcamo and Kevin Floate suggest watching for this cutworm now particularly in fields where wheat and corn are in rotation. According to the Cutworm Pests of Crops on the Canadian Prairies: Identification and Management Field Guide, outbreaks can last 2-3 years. These are all over North America and damage roots of plants […]

Bug of the Month March 2019

Created March 27, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Spiders are friends in the field by Prof. Dan Johnson, University of Lethbridge@DanJohnsonAB Natural enemies of insect pests perform a great ecosystem service and therefore deserve of efforts to conserve them, or at least not actively kill them. We often forget one of the most important groups of organisms that tirelessly battle insects that feed […]

Tuesday Video – Dr. Kevin Floate

Created February 26, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Cutworms & Carnage Dr. Kevin Floate talks about cutworms in Alberta at Farming Smarter’s Lethbridge conference 2017. He talks about the types of cutworms in Alberta and the crop damage they do. He emphasizes that the Alberta government has an online reporting site to gather info about cutworm populations, types and crop preferences and encourages […]

Bug of the Month – Bed Bugs

Created February 19, 2019 | Category: Bug of the Month

Eww! says Claudette By Dr. Hector Carcamo Bed bugs are more than just a nuisance human pest. Although they prefer our blood, they can also feed on chickens. This makes them an agricultural pest as well. The term bed bug applies to two related species that have similar life cycles: one occurs in cool regions […]

Bug of the Month Dec. 2018

Created December 4, 2018 | Category: Bug of the Month

Who survives under the snow? by Dr. Hector Carcamo How cold is cold enough to reduce insect pest numbers like the evil weevils that attack our crops? Well the answer, as is often the case, is ‘it depends.’  It depends on insect species and several environmental factors. Let us take three of our evil weevils as […]

Bug of the Month – September 20, 2018

Created September 20, 2018 | Category: Bug of the Month

Most of the cutworm species that are pests in Canada overwinter locally, typically as eggs or larvae (see table).  A small number of species (armyworm, black cutworm) re-establish each year in Canada when prevailing winds blow adults northward from the USA.  Pale western cutworm and redbacked cutworm are two of the species that overwinter as […]

Bug of the Month March 2017

Created March 16, 2017 | Category: Bug of the Month

Rice Leaf bug – Trigonotylus coelestialium Widespread across North America, the rice leaf bug is present in the Canadian prairies.  Adults are narrow bodied, long, and mainly green.  Some have green legs with red hind feet, and red antennae.  Eggs overwinter in grasses in or near cereal crops.  Adults inhabit new cereal crops, such as […]

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