The Red turnip beetle is a common pest of canola crops in Canada. The Red turnip beetle feeds only on the mustard family and will travel large distances when food source is scarce. Breakouts of the Red turnip beetle have been fairly localized, though they can be devastating to a single crop owner. The Red turnip beetle over winters in the soil and will hatch in early March through to May. Adults may damage the seedpods of mature plants, potentially causing premature shelling.
The eggs of the Red Turnip Beetle are reddish-brown in colour and oblong in shape. They can be found on plant leaves from August to late October. The eggs are laid in a within small crevices in the soil. After hatching in early spring, the larvae will feed on flixweed, wild mustard and other major weeds of Canadian crops. The larvae are black on top and brown on the underside. At maturity, the larvae are approximately 15 mm in length. The adults are approximately 10 mm in length with distinct bright red and black patches.
Monitor crops on the outer edges, as this species commonly feeds on fields adjacent to cruciferous plants from the previous growing season.