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Flea Beetle Problem

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Sal Vanilla Jun 23, 2009 08:10 PM

Anyone have any ideas how to naturally get rid of and/or deter flea beetles? I am so bummed. First they devoured the bok choy and then had their way with my broccollini...

I spent hours snatching and smashing them and then drowning them with spray and then applying soapy water. I ended up picking the bok choy and then breaking down and applying 7 dust to the broccollini. That was depressing because it was the first non natural thing I have applied to my garden EVER.

I would greatly appreciate any home grown knowledge. I could not find anything on the internet!

  1. m
    morwen Jun 24, 2009 06:39 AM

    I'm having the same problem and started a thread a bit ago here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/625810

    What worked best for me was using an insecticidal (not dish or household) soap with a few drops of rubbing alcohol added. The alcohol breaks down the protective waxy covering on the beetles and allows the soap to reach them and do the job. It didn't eliminate the beetles entirely but allowed the seedlings to get past the tender stage and into good vigorous growing shape. The beetles still attack but their damage is limited and doesn't seem to be affecting the growth of the plants. I was spraying twice a week making sure to get the undersides of leaves while the plants were young and now I'm spraying once a week but, I admit, not as thoroughly as I was.

    Flea beetles seem to be a big problem here this year, probably because of all the rain we've had, and a lot of nurseries and home gardeners I've talked to have been frustrated and gone to the Sevin when organic methods haven't worked. My Black Beauty eggplants were decimated so I've reseeded with Japanese eggplants which seemed very resistant to everything last year. If they get past the flea beetle stage this year, I'll stick with them in the future.

    1 Reply
    1. re: morwen
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      Sal Vanilla Jun 24, 2009 12:53 PM

      Morwen,

      Thank you for answering and referring me to your other discussion. I have never seen a flea beetle in my garden before. My GOD they are voracious eaters! I am going out today to get some insecticidal soap. I thought I had some... wondering if my husband used it to wash the car! My crazy house - I would not doubt it.

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