Dreaming of Flea Beetle deaths

Our garden is being besieged by Flea Beetles. It’s been going on for the last two weeks and the Flea Beetles are winning. We always have a problem with them, but this year has been different. They have been draping themselves in many victorious poses that all end with us cursing and them giggling. At least that is what I think is happening. They are very hard to hear.

We have sprinkled D.E. liberally many times and they give us the finger. We Pyrethrum them dead and they are parading in battle formation two days later. I’m not sure what to do next as they are decimating some of our plants. Does anyone have a suggestion for killing tiny beetles?

Annoying little turds

This entry was posted in Gardening. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Dreaming of Flea Beetle deaths

  1. Woody says:

    We’ve long had the same problem. I plant our eggplant in our high tunnel/greenhouse now. It seems to help that they are under some cover, so I would guess that a row cover might do the trick. I still have to keep up with spraying, but not nearly as often as when we would plant out in the open garden.

    • robin says:

      We ended up pulling out the big guns and sprayed some Seven. It killed all the beetles, the plants bounced back, and we haven’t seen any beetles since. I really don’t know how the plants survived as all the leaves were crunchy brown from the damage.

    • lee says:

      In five years of gardening here, we’ve actually never resorted to “chemical” insecticides before this. We have used Pyrethrum a handful of times, which was once considered organic, although it’s not anymore since it’s toxicity is really worse than Seven.

      When we first started gardening we had a more ideological approach to everything, and have since backed away from that in favor of things supported by research too. I don’t think there’s any point in gardening if you just recreate the management practices that create tasteless grocery store produce, but there’s also no point in gardening if you feed all your organic vegetables to flea beetles. The picture above doesn’t really do justice to the plague of beetles which hit us.

  2. Nelson says:

    I’ve found that if you soak minced garlic and hot peppers (the stronger the better) in a large 2-5 Gal. bucket for a couple days, using cheesecloth or something similar, then strain the water and spray it right on the plants it’ll scare off most insects. D.E. is better at keeping them off dry stored goods. Either way wash everything thoroughly. Good luck!

  3. John says:

    I’m not sure this will work on flea beetles, but it works great on aphids:
    do a companion planting with catmint. We had broccoli that was being devoured by aphids. The next year we planted catmint interspersed with the broccoli in a checkerboard pattern. No more aphids on broccoli after that! It may be possible even at this late date to get some catmint from a plant nursery and put pots of it next to the affected plants and see if it discourages flea beetles. It’s fairly cheap, it’s a perennial, doesn’t attract deer, and does attract bees. That’s catMINT, not catNIP.

    • robin says:

      I’ve never planted catmint before. I love trap crop stuff. Originally I just wanted to pull the affected plants and throw them to the chickens but Lee was afraid of the beetles migrating to other plants. I had a row of turnips (why I don’t know because I don’t like turnips) that they devoured. I had been thinking maybe I should plant them every year as a trap crop. The beetles also affected one kale species worse then another variety. It was odd.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *