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Flea Beetles

Hello everyone one hope you're all well.

I've had to scrap my brassica bed as Flea Beetles have destroyed the leaves on every seedling. I tried spraying regularly with water, not planting out till the seedlings were quite big and even did the wafting a grease covered bit of wood over the plants but nothing worked.

I was hoping you could help with 2 questions:
(i) How long do you think I should wait until planting new things in that bed? I'm hoeing each day, which I understand should prevent or reduce their larvae in the soil.
(ii) I was thinking to use that bed now to start my biennials for next year. I grow Foxgloves, Wallflowers, maybe Sweet William and anything else I can find that's good for pollinators (though not teasel as my plot is under netting). Alternatively, I could wait a while and then plant my Kale and Spinach for the winter. Would any of these be susceptible to Flea Beetle damage, and should therefore be avoided?

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill


  • Hi Paul, I was hoping you would be flooded with useful suggestions in answer to this as I'm also plagued with flea beetles. I have had them for a few years now and haven't found anyway to be rid of them. I find the most susceptible plants are rocket, mizuna and pak choi although they do also go for the beetroot but not so badly. I've resorted to growing things in troughs under a micromesh pop-up cloche.
  • Thanks @Singing Gardener . Blurgh, that's a bit worrying. I was hoping if I removed their food source they'd go away and not return, or maybe I'm confusing them with rats. I'm not even sure where they came from, though allotments are heaven for all the pesky insects as well as the friendly ones. You'd have hoped that we'd have a bit less of a bug ridden year after the Beast from the East and all that, but they seem to out in more force than ever.
    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
  • I'm pretty sure mine arrived from the rape crop in the field next door as I'd never had them before until the farmer switched from his usual potato crop. To be fair, I haven't even risked any flea beetle fodder outdoors for a couple of years so maybe they've gone!
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