Lumiderm® Provides Improved Flea Beetle Control on Canola

Early Season Flea Beetle Damage on Canola Crop

Most years, flea beetles cause hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage to canola crops in Western Canada. Who pays? The growers who see their canola fall short of its harvest potential because of early-season flea beetle damage.

What’s worse, flea beetles have been increasing in severity in many areas in recent years. That’s the trend that Barry Friesen has observed.

“I can say that flea beetle control has been a continuous and growing concern for us,” says Friesen, an agronomist with Delta Ag Services in Portage la Prairie, Man. “Over the last three years, as adult flea beetles emerge in greater numbers when the canola is vulnerable, we are seeing more signs of feeding damage.”

This past growing season, entomologists reported higher-than-normal levels of late-season flea beetle activity. This could point to 2014 being a significant flea beetle year.

Fortunately, canola growers have a new and potent line of defense available to them for 2014: DuPont™ Lumiderm® insecticide seed treatment. Newly registered, it’s the first-ever seed treatment to provide extended control of both flea beetles and cutworms in canola.

Lumiderm® impacts insect behaviour by impairing muscle function, which causes muscle paralysis – ultimately leading to death. In this way, Lumiderm® provides more consistent, longer-lasting flea beetle control than conventional insecticide seed treatments.

In 2013, Barry Friesen ran a series of 11 side-by-side 10-acre plots – 10 acres treated with Lumiderm® and 10 acres of untreated check. Both were planted with the grower’s own field equipment.  With flea beetles a long-standing concern in his area, Friesen was glad to see the impact of Lumiderm® on his clients’ canola.

“In the Lumiderm®-treated areas, we saw reduced signs of feeding damage, higher plant stands and greater plant vigor,” he says. “What that means is that we won’t have to overspray for flea beetle control.” 


Lumiderm® Case Study - MacGregor, MB

Comparison of standard treatment VS Lumiderm® treated seed.

Lumiderm® Case Study - Husser, AB

Comparison of standard treatment VS Lumiderm® treated seed.

Evidence from the field

In this series of side-by-side photographs, you see very clearly the difference between Lumiderm® and a conventional seed treatment. Whether the flea beetle pressure is light, medium or heavy, the Lumiderm™ treated canola shows far fewer signs of feeding than with the conventional seed treatment. 

This is the same pattern observed by Barry Gibbs in 2013. Gibbs, an agronomist with AgCall based in Okotoks, Alta., managed 10-acre side-by-side trials involving Lumiderm® and a standard seed treatment in canola. At one site, located near Hussar, flea beetles were a problem but Lumiderm® did its job.

“We noticed a difference on the Lumiderm®-treated side,” says Gibbs. “On the check area, a lot of the flea beetles had chewed the edge of the leaf and through the leaf. On the Lumiderm® side, there was definitely less damage. There were marks on the leaves but not holes. That makes sense because they have to eat a bit of the leaf to pick up the Lumiderm®.”

To Lisa Power, Seed Treatment Manager with DuPont Crop Protection, late-season flea beetle pressure could be a worrisome sign for the following year’s crops.

 “With new Lumiderm®, growers have a seed treatment option that can protect their canola seed investment from flea beetles during the critical early growth stage, getting the crop off to a great start. That’s peace of mind.”



DuPont™ Lumiderm® is a DuPont™ Lumigen® seed sense product.

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