Flea Beetles

If the leaves of your plant look like someone with a miniature shotgun has shot a bunch of little holes in the leaves, you are likely to be dealing with flea beetles

Identifying Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are shiny, black beetles, about the size of a pinhead ;1/10 inch long. Some species have yellow or white markings. They are very active and jump like a flea when disturbed. Flea beetles transmit viral and bacterial diseases, including early blight and bacterial wilt. These insect pests are found throughout the United States.

Growth Stages

Flea beetles overwinter in the soil, in garden debris, on trees or in nearby brush, in other words, all over the place. Adults overwinter in the soil and in garden debris and emerge in early spring.

Females lay eggs near the bases of plants (then vulnerable to ants). These hatch in about one week, and the larvae feed on the roots of plants for two to three weeks before pupating and emerging as winged adults to attack foliage. The larvae are vulnerable to predatory nematodes.