Flea beetles can make a quick getaway when disturbed: They have enlarged legs that enable them to jump like fleas. Last Seen in the Vicinity of North America.
Adults chew small, round holes in leaves of most vegetable crops as well as many flowers and weeds. Flea beetles are most damaging in early spring, when seedlings may be killed by a heavy infestation of adults. Larger plants usually survive and outgrow the damage, unless the plants were infected with a virus spread by the beetles. The larvae feed on plant roots, and, in some species, such as the tuber flea beetle, the larvae do the most damage.
Adults are tiny, active, black, brown, or bronze beetles, 1?1 0 inch long. They have enlarged hind legs and jump like fleas when disturbed. The larvae live in the soil and are thin, white, legless grubs with brown heads, up to 3?4 inch long.
` Plant susceptible plants as late as possible to avoid the most damaging generation.
` C over seedlings with floating row covers until adults die off.
` Flea beetles prefer full sun, so interplant crops to shade susceptible plants.
` Drench roots with insect parasitic nematodes to control larvae.
` Spray pyrethrins to control adults.