Flea Beetles - "Dr. Z's" Tip of the Week

FLEA BEETLES

Flea beetles are a common insect in the vegetable garden.  Usually spotted a little later in the spring, these insects have been active for a while this season.  They are a little black beetle that generally attacks vegetable plants; especially tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, and beans.
The adults chew very small holes in the leaves.  Over time the leaves become covered with tiny brown spots.  When the plant is disturbed, the beetles jump like fleas.  There can be 1 to 4 generations a season.
Flea beetles respond well to organic insect sprays.  Use Neem oil, pyrethrin, or insect soap.  Be sure to spray at weekly intervals in order to be successful in controlling this problem.
Garden insect dusts can also be used effectively against this pest. The dust will stay on the plants' leaf longer, increasing the chances the flea beetle will ingest the insecticide.

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