First insect attacked our plants this season. After several research, I realized that it’s called Flea Beetles. They were supposed to be infecting during seedling but my case it was during the growing season. Unfortunately, any greens around it were not affected at all. Not sure why they picked only eggplants so far in my raised beds.
There are various genera and species of flea beetles, all members of the Chrysomelidae family. The adults are active leaf-feeders that can, in large numbers, rapidly defoliate and kill plants. Symptoms of flea-beetle feeding are small, rounded, irregular holes; heavy feeding makes leaves look as if they had been peppered with fine shot.
In organic systems, the preferred approaches to pest management are those that enhance the diversity of the farm system, such as cover cropping, rotation, and interplanting; those that use special knowledge of pest biology, such as delayed planting; and those that take advantage of existing on-farm resources. These approaches are typified by cultural and biological controls, which will be discussed first. Alternative pesticides, while frequently necessary for some crop pests and conditions, can be treated as “rescue chemistry”—to be used when and if other strategies fall short.
Other homemade solutions:
Garlic and Onions
Garlic is effective at controlling flea beetles. It should be minced and mixed with water. Allow it to sit for a little and strain the fiber out of the solution. Spray the mixture on your plants
Dish soap is effective in getting rid of many common garden pests and diseases. It is important to never use anti-bacterial soap on your plants; so read the bottle before using it. A few teaspoons mixed with some water can be sprayed on plants to help get rid of flea beetles.
Red Pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and hot pepper sauce all do a good job at keeping flea beetles and other pests away from your garden plants. Simply add a few tablespoons to some water and spray the plants with your natural concoction. If you have used pepper flakes or powder it is important to strain the liquid. Coffee filters work well and water can be boiled first for extra potency.
Mint and Catnip
A natural method of flea beetle control is making teas using mint and catnip. These plants are unattractive to flea beetles and will help keep your garden plants safe.
- 6 cloves of chopped fine garlic
- 1 small chopped fine onion
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
How to prepare:
- Mix all the above ingredients in 1 quart of warm water.
- Allow mixture to sit overnight.
- Strain; pour the liquid into a sprayer bottle.
- Now, you are loaded for beetles!
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