Little black bugs near the broccoli

jeff_12422January 2, 2011

I am new to gardening and have a tiny organic vegetable garden that I started this past fall.

So far, pest management has been minimal, b/c I've had very few issues. However, my borage, cauliflower and broccoli are all being nibbled, so I did some searching around... I picked off all the green worms (all were green but I think some were loopers and others were cabbage worms) from the veggies. The borage has holes, but nothing crawling on it. Then I noticed some tiny black bugs marching along the edge of the raised bed. They mostly stay with the broccoli, but now that I have the garden covered at night and part of the day due to frost, the bugs are all over the cover and more likely to travel to the other plants.

Does anyone know what these might be, and what I can do about them, short of collecting them one by one like I do with the worms? They look like tiny black ticks, barely bigger than a poppy seed....

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If they jump away like a flea when you pass your hand close to them, they are flea beetles, your critters may be larger than flea beetles. Flea beetles can do a number to cole crops.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 11:13PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Try saying "Little Black Broccoli Bugs" three times in rapid succession.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 11:31PM
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Do they appear to be harming those plants in any way?
About the only thing that comes to mind they might be in the pest catagory is Darkling Beetles, however they may well be predators also.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 6:54AM
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Al, will that help, or just be fun for onlookers to watch?

Michael, no, they don't jump like fleas. I can squash them pretty easily with a finger (and end up with brown goo smears everywhere), but that's not really my preferred method of control if it doesn't have to be. There's just too many of them...

Kimmsr, the plants have holes eaten in the leaves, and some of the leaves are nearly nibbled completely off, but that may have been from the worms, not the black bugs. So I really have no idea if they're beneficial bugs or not, but I'm guessing not...

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 9:30PM
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leira(6 MA)

This doesn't exactly match your description, but I had problems with black aphids on my broccoli this past year. There were zillions of them, in thick clumps, and they didn't rinse off with a hose or in the kitchen. Ew.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2011 at 7:41PM
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Some beetles eat aphids, you should find out what they are before you kill them, they may be trying to help you

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 1:19PM
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Capture some in a ziplock bag & take them to your county extension service for ID. Then you will know what to do about them.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 8:31AM
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