The cereal leaf beetle is a pest of wheat, oats, barley and other cereal crops. They have one generation per year. Adults, eggs, and larvae may be found in wheat during April to June. Adults are shiny, black beetles with red legs and thorax and are approximately 3/16 inch long. The larvae are pale yellow and soft-bodied, but they are normally covered with their fecal material giving them a dark gooey, shiny appearance. Adults and larvae skeletonize the leaf tissue between the veins, but the larvae cause most of the injury.

Visually examine 10 tillers (stems) at 10 randomly selected locations in a field. Count the total number of eggs and larvae found on 100 tillers.

Treatment is necessary if 25 or more eggs and/or larvae are present per 100 tillers until wheat reaches the dough stage.


  • Follow good agronomic practices for wheat production, including adequate plant populations and fertility.


Management Options

Insecticide (Trade Names) for CEREAL LEAF BEETLELb Active Ingredient per AcreAmount Formulation per AcrePerformance Rating
methomyl (Lannate LV, 2.4)0.225 - 0.4512 - 24 oz8
spinosad (Blackhawk 36% WDG)0.025 - 0.0741.1 - 3.3 oz7?
β-cyfluthrin (Baythroid XL 1)0.008 - 0.0141 - 1.8 oz7
γ-cyhalothrin (Declare 1.25)0.01 - 0.0151.02 - 1.54 oz7
λ-cyhalothrin (Warrior II 2.08)0.02 - 0.031.28 - 1.92 oz7
Z-cypermethrin (Mustang Maxx 0.8)0.01 - 0.0251.76 - 4 oz7