Flea beetle

Flea fleas: small beetles that live on cruciferous plants from which it eats the young leaves.

recognize flea beetle
Flea beetle, photo: AJC1 - CC BY-SA 2.0

Flea beetle (Psylliodes) . These tiny beetles of only 2 to 3 mm in size belong to the leaf beetles. Flea beetles can make big jumps. They are usually colored black or steel blue.
Flea beetles belong to the pests of cultivated plants: the adults feed on leaves and the larvae feed on roots. Furthermore: some flea beetles carry plant diseases (e.g., late blight).
Flea beetles mainly live on cruciferous plants; they have a preference for young leaves. The damage mainly occurs in spring in warm weather and consists of small holes in the leaves and flowers and tunnels in roots and tubers.
Flea beetles lay eggs on the undersides of leaves in the spring. The larvae feed on the plant roots without causing much damage. One generation per year – flea beetles hibernate in the soil.

Affected plants

  • Cruciferae
  • Philadelphus
  • Hypericum
  • Beet (Beta vulgaris)
  • Common chicory
  • Belgian endive
  • Wallflower

Control

Spray with pyrethrum or smear a slat with glue, move it between the plants, on which the flea beetles jump away and stick.

Prevention

Regular irrigation or watering prevents fleas from developing strongly. They like dry conditions.

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