The Flea Beetles Cometh
I have a VERY, VERY bad flea beetle problem. They seem to feast on eggplant and when they've had enough of it, they head for the bell peppers. I've tried newspaper with grass clippings around it to no avail. The recent rains did compact the grass clippings, though I thought the barrier would be enough to keep them away. So I'm looking for suggestions.
Did I put too little grass clippings down? I have an inch and a half ring around the plants with newspaper underneath. Is there an organic or non-organic pesticide I could use? I was told of a non-organic solution called Wilt Proof which would erect a chemical barrier on the leaves. Or could I plant something else the flea beetles like better?
Just for an FYI, I've notice the flea beetles swarm at dusk. I also was wondering if the weather conditions were abnormally increasing their numbers because we have had a very wet, unforgiving spring, which I thought might have led to an unusual population explosion. I went out to the garden last evening and my eggplant leaves were black! Yikes! If I don't see some progress soon, I may just plow the plants under and plant sunflowers.
Any help would be much appreciated.