How to Get Rid of Black Flea Beetles in My Garden

Updated February 21, 2017

The black flea beetle is also known as the western black flea beetle and it has large back legs to allow it to jump far distances. These beetles are attracted to vegetable crops and can destroy them quickly. They also can appear on flowers, shrubs and trees. These insects feed on foliage and stems until a plant dies. It's important to identify flea beetles and to manage the area around your garden before applying insecticide to eliminate these pests.

Monitor your garden for the presence of black flea beetles in early spring. Purchase a "yellow sticky trap" from your local garden store that you can place by your plants to trap insects, such as flea beetles, that are attracted to the colour yellow.

Remove all weeds near your garden to get rid of the areas where the flea beetles feed, live and reproduce. Also, remove any mulch, debris and diseased or fallen plants from your garden.

Apply row covers (also called garden fabric) to your garden during seedling growth to prevent the flea beetles from getting access to your plants. Make sure to remove any row covers once the seeds have grown, so beneficial insects can pollinate the plants.

Plant a "trap crop" to attract the beetles away from your main crops. A popular example of a trap plant for flea beetles is the radish. This is also a beneficial way to isolate the beetles so that you can spray them with insecticide.

Apply an insecticide to the black flea beetles and to the trap plant they are feeding on. Use an insecticide that contains pyrethrins, carbaryl, malathion, spinosad, permethrin, bifenthrin or esfenvalerate. Make sure to apply the insecticide as instructed on the label and to repeat applications as necessary to eliminate all of the flea beetles.

Things You'll Need

  • yellow sticky trap
  • Row cover
  • Insecticide
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