My research project investigates the biology of pea leaf weevil and management strategies for pea leaf weevil in support of faba bean and field pea production. The pea leaf weevil, Sitona lineatus L. (Coleoptera, Curculionidae), is an invasive pest of field peas and faba beans (Fabaceae), which is well established in southern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. But, recently, pea leaf weevil has expanded its geographical range toward south central Alberta. With this recent range expansion, a highly visible foliar damage has been observed on faba bean and this crop may be preferred over peas. Although considerable research has been done in field peas in south central Alberta, it is not known if management strategies such as economic thresholds from peas can be applied to faba beans. Also, the local prediction of pest risk remains a challenge, because information is lacking about overwintering biology of the pest on both crops.
My research project is focused on determining the impact of pea leaf weevil on faba bean growth and yield; developing an economic threshold of pea leaf weevil on faba beans, thus in assessing the potential management strategies such as seed treatments and foliar insecticides and their impact on beneficial natural enemies; determining fundamental knowledge on the physiology and overwintering biology of the pea leaf weevil. This knowledge can lead to novel management strategies of pea leaf weevil and to increase in yield by reducing pest damage and to optimize the pesticide use.