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Killing pea leaf weevils with ‘trap crops’

 In the fall of 2016, Meghan Vankosky had an “aha” moment.

Vankosky, an Agriculture Canada entomologist, was conducting a grasshopper survey in a crop of field peas in Western Canada. The crop was already combined but she noticed a large number of adult pea leaf weevils, feeding on volunteer peas at the edge of the field.

In that moment, she had her idea.

“That made me think. Maybe this is a way we could reduce the population (of weevils),” said Vankosky, who works for Ag Canada in Saskatoon and specializes in pests of pulse and oilseed crops.

Her idea was to attract adult weevils to a trap crop, then kill the pests with an insecticide or an insecticide alternative. That would reduce the number of pea leaf weevils that over-winter on the Prairies.

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