The bertha armyworm (Mamestra configurata) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in western Canada.
Mamestra configurata has been recognized as an agricultural pest in western Canada for more than 85 years, during which time outbreaks have occurred at irregular intervals. The first major outbreak occurred in Saskatchewan in 1944 on the new crop, rapeseed. The development of canola as a major crop led to a dramatic increase in the economic damage caused by the pest and resulted in the widespread use of insecticides for control. Discovery of a species-specific pheromone and development of an adult monitoring system in the late 1970s and early 1980s led to a method for providing producers with early warning of potential for crop damage. In parallel, methods for estimating larval populations were developed but are in need of improvement. Refinement of these methods has the potential to provide a more accurate indication of damage risk for producers of canola. Control of M. configurata relies heavily on the use of chemical insecticides, emphasizing the need for development of integrated management strategies.