Flea beetle infestation

Jane23

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These guys moved in last spring. It appears my kale site is contaminated. Anything I should do to destroy them?

I removed the top layer of soil in July, but it seems some of them survived and my kale seeded itself.
 

digitS'

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Aphids. Insecticidal Soap or Neem Oil will kill them through dehydration.

Aphids have been so bad on my cabbage that I was nearly ready to give up on growing the crop. The way a head of cabbage grows makes spraying them late in the season impossible. Kale and such aren't as difficult but the curly nature of Scotch kale leaves makes for a good place for aphids to hide.

Sunshine may cause damage to freshly sprayed leaves so I like to spray late in the afternoon. Washing the plants the next day adds an additional safeguard.

Steve
 

Jane23

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Aphids. Insecticidal Soap or Neem Oil will kill them through dehydration.

Aphids have been so bad on my cabbage that I was nearly ready to give up on growing the crop. The way a head of cabbage grows makes spraying them late in the season impossible. Kale and such aren't as difficult but the curly nature of Scotch kale leaves makes for a good place for aphids to hide.

Sunshine may cause damage to freshly sprayed leaves so I like to spray late in the afternoon. Washing the plants the next day adds an additional safeguard.

Steve
Attached is a picture of my broccoli from earlier this year. I just watched a webinar about cover crops and sometimes they can help break the cycle of pests by giving them the wrong thing to feed upon. They are small beds, so I may just experiment with them this next year and not plant them.
 

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Jane23

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Flea Beetles here - are a real problem.

Utah State University Extension Service LINK

I spray with Spinosad.
I read this when they first broke out. I would rather not use chemicals on it and would like to see what I can do. The beds are small so when I stretched tape across them they were instantly full in the spring, but that does not take care of the larva in the soil. I removed the top layer, so hopefully I got most of them.

I am debating planting something neutral there next spring that they won’t got after. Or a cover crop to see what it can do for all my soil. It’s just sad that those few seeds that came out were almost instantly destroyed.
 

Triffid

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Flea beetles present a severe problem for oilseed rape farming here in the UK. There are ongoing trials with mixtures of fenugreek, mustard, and buckwheat, which act as a repellent/N-fixer, trap crop, and food source for predatory species respectively.

I have to say I've noticed a great reduction in aphids and flea beetles since I've planted alyssum all over the place and let the old celery plants flower freely. This summer, the latter were teeming with syrphids, lacewings, ladybirds, spiders, and parasitoid wasps. Normally the salad radishes and pak choi would have been riddled with holes but they were few and far between.
 

Jane23

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Flea beetles present a severe problem for oilseed rape farming here in the UK. There are ongoing trials with mixtures of fenugreek, mustard, and buckwheat, which act as a repellent/N-fixer, trap crop, and food source for predatory species, respectively.

I have to say I've noticed a great reduction in aphids and flea beetles since I planted alyssum all over the place and let the old celery plants flower freely. This summer, the latter teemed with syrphids, lacewings, ladybirds, spiders, and parasitoid wasps.
The webinar I just attended showed me how to plant the crops to draw the bugs away from my main crop. With such a small bed, though, I am not sure it is worth it. At least for that broccoli it didn't matter. 95% bolted and a deer had just enjoyed that last one, so nothing was really left. I do have a ton of seeds, though.
 

Triffid

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Fair, though one doesn't have to plant the trap crops in the same bed necessarily. Somewhere relatively nearby in the same garden should suffice in most cases, though I'm sure the type of pest/crop would affect the optimal layout.

Which is the worse pest for you, aphids or flea beetles? Or both?
 

Jane23

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Fair, though one doesn't have to plant the trap crops in the same bed necessarily. Somewhere near the same garden should suffice in most cases, though I'm sure the type of pest/crop would affect the optimal layout.

Which is the worse pest for you, aphids or flea beetles? Or both?
So far, I have only had problems with flea beetles and poor soil results like splitting tomatoes. I also had a bit of blight take my potato plants, though the potatoes came out alright.
 

Phaedra Geiermann

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I can't live without brassica family vegetables, so I use nets. So far, the result is satisfying. I didn't have luck with the banker plants yet, but I will try again with wheat/oat to attract aphids next year.

I grow larger (like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflowers, kale, radish, Brussels sprouts, etc.) and smaller (pak choi, cherry radish, etc.) brassicas in different beds. The nets are always there after seedlings are transplanted, and I only remove the nets when I harvest them (not the entire heart, I harvest their outer leaves biweekly) or need to remove lower leaves in the very early morning during the growing season. Flea beetles are comparatively not that active in the early morning.

In my garden, the nets can effectively keep most of the pests away, from Aphids, flea beetles, to birds.
 

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