WSU Extension

Hortsense

Tomato : Flea beetles
(revision date: 2/14/2019)


Biology
Flea beetles are small, brown to metallic black beetles with a habit of jumping like fleas when disturbed. They feed on many plants including potatoes, beets, kale, collards, radish, and many weeds, particularly those in the mustard family. Adults eat small round holes in the leaves, usually early in the season. The larvae typically feed on underground portions of the host plants. Damage can be very severe on seedling plants.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Keep garden and adjacent areas clear of weeds which may attract flea beetles.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Follow label instructions and apply when beetles are first seen.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Bonide Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew R-T-U [Organic]
    Active ingredient: spinosad (spinosyn A+D)  |  EPA reg no: 4-472
  • Bug Buster-O [Organic]
    Active ingredient: pyrethrins  |  EPA reg no: 1021-1771-54705
  • Bull's-Eye Bioinsecticide
    Active ingredient: spinosad (spinosyn A+D)  |  EPA reg no: 62719-314-56872
  • Naturalis L
    Active ingredient: Beauveria bassiana  |  EPA reg no: 53871-9
  • Safer Brand BioNEEM Multi-Purpose Insecticide & Repellent Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: azadirachtin  |  EPA reg no: 70051-6-42697
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
Images
    - hide images

+ Show larger images

 
Caption: Adult flea beetle damage on potato leaf
Photo by: Unknown
Caption: Adult flea beetle damage on potatoes
Photo by: S.J. Collman