Combining trap cropping and natural-chemical lures to attract and kill crucifer flea beetles

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2008: $191,868.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
William Snyder
Washington State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: canola
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, brussel sprouts


  • Crop Production: cover crops, intercropping
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, feasibility study, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, biological control, biorational pesticides, botanical pesticides, field monitoring/scouting, flame, integrated pest management, mulches - killed, mulches - living, prevention, trap crops, traps
  • Soil Management: green manures
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures


    The crucifer flea beetle (CFB), Phyllotreta cruciferae, is an oligophagous pest of Brassica crops. In plots both west (Mt. Vernon, WA) and east (Moscow, ID) of the Cascade Mountains, we have been evaluating different species-compositions and optimal distance of trap crop plantings that will effectively draw flea beetles out of broccoli, yet prevent over-spilling from occurring. Flea beetle populations in trap-crops were tracked using D-vac suction sampler, while visual observations were used to monitor CFB populations and damage in broccoli. Our results suggests that multi-species trap crops protected broccoli planted at varying distance by inducing subtle changes in CFB behavior.

    Project objectives:

    We examined simple and diverse trap crop plants in their ability to draw flea beetles away from the broccoli crop.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.