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Degree Day Update for Aphthona Flea Beetles (06/15/17)

To determine when to begin scouting for adult flea beetles, use the accumulated growing degree days (AGDD) for sunflower (base of 44 F) on NDAWN – sunflower degree days/growth stage application.

Degree Day Update for Aphthona Flea Beetles

To determine when to begin scouting for adult flea beetles, use the accumulated growing degree days (AGDD) for sunflower (base of 44 F) on NDAWN – sunflower degree days/growth stage application. Select the “Map” tab, enter “2017-03-01” for planting date and select “growing degree day” for map type.

Begin scouting for adult flea beetles when the sunflower AGDD approaches 1,000. Flea beetles should be collected between 1,200 and 1,600 AGDD using the sunflower GDD model. Currently, North Dakota ranges from »800 AGDD in the northeast and northcentral to >1,000 AGDD in the southeast and southwest (see map below). The southern area of ND can continue scouting.

Adult flea beetles can be collected easily with sweep nets. After late July (or 1,600 AGDD), flea beetles begin to lay eggs and should not be moved or collected. Leafy spurge flea beetles typically take three to five years to establish and reduce leafy spurge infestations.

To find collecting sites for leafy spurge flea beetle, contact your local county weed office (number listed in local phone book). Leafy spurge flea beetles also are available commercially for purchase at Biological Control of Weeds or WeedBusters BioControl in Montana.

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Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

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