Friday, May 13, 2011

Plant Parenthood: Flea Beetles! AH!

The epic wrath of this adorable pest is upon us.  Yesterday, my kale and arugula seedlings were sad looking with tiny holes in the leaves, so I leaned in for a closer look and saw my tiny enemy.  They look cute especially since they jump like little sprites but make no mistake - They. Will. Kill. Kale.  And many other things.  But that kale of mine must live!  

So I found some solutions using the trusty interweb:
  • Water and Fertilize - enough water and the right conditions give the plant the best chance of surviving and overcoming the stress of a pest.  Some research has shown that flea beetles may not like leaves after they've been treated with fertilizer, so a sprinkle of dilution of sea kelp and water could do the trick.
  • Trap Cropping - interplant what you're cultivating with Giant Mustard or Radishes.  The beetle will eat them instead.
  • Row cover - reemay or the like
  • Sticky tape . . . super high tech.
  • Nematodes
  • Infuse water with garlic, onion, and mint and spray on plants - another potential repellant

They will not win.

1 comment:

  1. Update: They've pretty much gone away after getting some sea kelp fertilizer on them and some rain the last couple of days. Yay!