How To Kill Flea Beetles

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How To Kill Flea Beetles

This time of year the big pest in the outdoor gardens are flea beetles. These pesky insects devour plants in no time at all. If you live near fields or farmland you will be more likely to have heavy infestations of flea beetles. Beetles are attracted to some crops more than others. For example, radishes, potatoes, horseradish, squash, cucumbers, peppers, legumes, and many more. Flea beetles seem less attracted to tomatoes, though they may still try. Whatever type of plant you have, these destructive bugs must be stopped quickly!

How Do I Kill Flea Beetles?

Products containing Spinosad are effective at combating flea beetles. Spinosad effectively kills most of the bugs on contact or shortly after. The spinosad is supposed to remain on the leaves afterwards, but it doesn't seem to be effective in completely stopping them when there are tons of these pests and they will continue to eat the sprayed leaves. Possibly other bugs are eating the spinosad and dying, then new bugs continue to eat. It is hard to say when there are hundreds if not thousands of these bugs eating your garden. Reapplication as needed works to kill new waves of beetles. Some popular Spinosad based products are Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew and Monterey Garden Insect Spray

How to Keep Flea Beetles Away

While there isn't a good deterrent to keep them away from all plants, many growers use what is called trap plants. Trap plants are plants that are specifically planted to draw the insects and keep them from eating your prized plants. For flea beetles the trap plant most often used are plants like radishes or horseradish. The flea beetles will attack the trap plants and will largely leave the other crops alone. You can then spray the trap crops with a pesticide to kill off the infestation. 

A combination of spinosad-based insecticides and trap planting will keep flea beetles from destroying your prized crops. Preventative applications of spinosad will also help deter flea beetles and other pests as well. But as always, be vigilant in your garden and stop pests as soon as their seen in order to limit losses from pest damage. 

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  • Charles Davis
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