Flea beetle

Time to act:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Mar, Apr, May

The culprit is the flea beetle, which, like its namesake, jumps away when disturbed. The small, shiny, black, brown or blue beetles emerge in April and May, after winter hibernation, ready to start feeding. Eggs laid near host plants hatch in late-summer. The beetles feed for a few weeks before overwintering.

Symptoms

The upper leaves of brassicas and various ornamentals are riddled with holes. Seedlings may be wiped out. Swarms of tiny beetles, often shiny and black, hop away when disturbed.

Find it on

brassica seedlings, nasturtiums, alyssum, anemone, stocks, cleome, godetia

Advertisement

Organic

Seedlings are especially vulnerable to attack, so protect them by waiting until they're a good size before planting out. Exploit the beetles' habit of jumping and catch them with a sticky trap. Coat a piece of card with grease, such as insect barrier glue, leaving a clean strip along one edge. Brush the clean edge of the card over the top of your plants - when the beetles hop into the air they'll stick to the grease. Repeat as necessary.

Chemical

Use pyrethrum chemical controls, taking care not to disturb the beetles before an application, or they'll jump out of harm's way.

Advertisement

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Caterpillars

Leaf miner fly

Red spider mites

Thrips

Related offers

HALF PRICE

Onions, shallots and garlic

Save over 50 per cent on an autumn-planting onion, shallot and garlic collection. You'll receive six varieties for just £14.50 (less than half the RRP), when you enter the offer code at checkout.

Use code: GW617

Order now

SAVE 10%

Subscriber only content

Save 10% at Marshalls

You'll find all you need to grow your own bumper crop of tasty fruit and veg at Marshalls. Save 10 per cent across the entire range, plants, seeds, accessories and more.

Unlock now

Offer

Subscriber only content

Save £20 on dianthus

Buy a collection of 20 beautifully perfumed pinks for just £19.95 (saving £20) with this offer. Your collection comprises these popular varieties: 'Cranmere Pool', 'Cosmic Swirl', 'Doris', 'Gran's Favourite' and 'Letitia Wyatt'.

Unlock now