Non-Chemical Flea Beetle Control In Oilseed Rape

Published on


Cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB; Psylliodes chrysocephala) remains a serious and intractable problem for oilseed rape (OSR) growers in some parts of the UK.



CSFB adults feed on the foliage of emerging crops and can threaten establishment.  They lay their eggs at the base of plants and the larvae mine the petioles from mid-October before moving into the stems.  Losses due to CSFB in 2016/17 were estimated at 9% of the national crop (>33,000 ha) by April (Wynn et al, 2017).  In the 2015/16 Fera Crop Monitor pest survey CSFB larval populations were higher than in any previous year (Collins, 2017)


An objective of the project is to assess non-chemical options for CSFB control.  This includes investigating whether grazing or defoliating OSR during the winter can control CSFB larval populations.  Defoliation in the winter prior to stem elongation has been shown to have a negligble impact on yield. 


Our work assessed the impact of defoliation at three timings on larval populations and yield.  Results showed that defoliation resulted in significant reductions in larval numbers of up 60% compared to an undefoliated control. 


Further work is planned to better understand the control method, including ADAS trials and farmer-led work.

Project Team

To find out more please contact

Pest Management and Entomology

Number of views (896)

Share this article:


ADAS is part of the RSK Group. RSK is the UK’s largest privately-owned multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy and one of the fastest-growing companies of its kind in Europe. With operations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, our solutions-led consultancy services help organisations conduct business in a compliant, and environmentally-responsible manner

Spring Lodge, 172 Chester Road,
Helsby, WA6 0AR
+44 (0)1928 726006


ADAS is the UK’s largest independent provider of agricultural and environmental consultancy, rural development services and policy advice. We have a unique combination of practical experience, underpinned by science-based data, which allows us to meet the needs of our clients. Our great strength is our breadth and depth of expertise spanning the entire environmental sector.

Spring Lodge, 172 Chester Road,
Helsby, WA6 0AR
+44 (0)333 0142950

Copyright 2018 RSK ADAS Ltd.
ADAS is a trading name of RSK ADAS Ltd. Registered in England No. 10486936

| Terms Of Use | Privacy Copyright 2019 RSK ADAS Ltd.