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.



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mister_al(zone 7)

I've dusted my eggplants with a powder I got at WalMart called "Bug be Gon" and it has really helped.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2003 at 12:24AM
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njcher(Zone 6)

Flea beetles are easy--just use flour. Dust them with flour or if you want, DE.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2003 at 1:59AM
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I had flea beetles on my alyssum seedlings and I put a few crushed cloves of garlic in some water, let soak a few hours, strain and instant garlic repellant! It seemed to help for me.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2003 at 5:40PM
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I take dicotemous earth and put it in one of those large metal salt shakers with larger holder and sprinkle it on the leaves of the plants. At the very least it helps keeps them at bay.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2003 at 10:54PM
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I take a sticky roll of fly tape & pick them off w/it when I get really desperate. Only practical when you've got a few plants, of course. You could hang the sticky tape over the plant, but you run the risk of trapping beneficials as well.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2003 at 12:56PM
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njcher(Zone 6)

This afternoon I was walking past my eggplants and saw those darn flea beetles just starting in on them. I went right for the flour and dusted them. A few hours later I went past again and checked: no flea beetles.

Yes, DE works, too. One day I made two trips to evilorangepalace for it. I couldn't find it on the first trip (nor could the sales help) and couldn't find the manager either. I called when I got home, just to chew him out. He put two bags at the register for me. Traveled to EOP and back home, applied the DE, and then came in the house to read some posts on my organic gardener's listserv where someone had just written a post saying flour works as well as DE. Grrr. Will never forget that day.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2003 at 2:26AM
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Be careful with DE as it will kill the beneficial worms so important to your soil health.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2003 at 10:45AM
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I identified the thousands of rapidly reproducing insects.


When they are young they look similar to a ladybug.

Here is a link that might be useful: Univ CA Riverside

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 11:24PM
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