Modern hulless wheats, Triticum aestivum L., are more susceptible to the wheat midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin), than the hulled, wild, ancestral species. Hulless cultivars of barley, Hordeum vulgare L., are becoming more widely grown in western Canada than in the past. Hulled and hulless cultivars of two-rowed and six-rowed barleys were tested for their susceptibility to wheat midge, to determine if this midge might become a serious pest of barley and to assess which plant traits might affect host suitability. In the field, larval populations on 10 barley cultivars were much lower than on wheat. In the laboratory, when the flag leaf sheath was peeled back to expose preflowering spikes, female midges readily oviposited on spikes of barley, although less so on younger spikes. Few larvae were able to develop on barley when eggs were laid after spikes had flowered. All barleys completed flowering, or nearly so, before spikes emerged from the flag leaf sheath, with two-rowed cultivars flowering earlier than six-rowed barleys. No differences in larval densities were found between hulless and hulled barleys, and therefore, factors other than the hulled trait must account for reduced susceptibility of barley. Because barley flowers within the flag leaf sheath, its period of susceptibility to infestation is much shorter than for wheat, as evidenced by reduced infestation of earlier-flowering two-rowed cultivars compared with later-flowering six-rowed cultivars. Also, the tight closure of the leaf-like glumes that form the florets of barley probably makes access to young seeds more difficult for newly hatched larvae than is the case for wheat. At comparable crop growth stages, larval densities on all the barleys were < 10% of those on spring wheat. The introduction of hulless barley for production in Canada is unlikely to increase wheat midge damage on barley to an economic level.