Around this time in May, we may see increases of cereal leaf beetle in wheat and other small grains. In fact, a few adults have already been spotted in a few fields. Adults are not the most damaging stage, but they will lay eggs which will hatch into the hungrier and more damaging larvae in the next few weeks. Look for adult beetles which are metallic blue and orange.
Larvae are small, grey and have a moist appearance (the moistness comes from their feces that they place on their back for protection). It is difficult to predict which fields may have cereal leaf beetles so scouting is very important to know if your field is at risk. Heavily infested fields will have frosted appearance and the larvae feed and strip foliage tissue. Our economic threshold is 1 cereal leaf beetle larvae per stem, and many insecticides provide effective control. More information can be found at https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/ENT-38