WSU Extension


Turnip, Rutabaga
Boron deficiency 
Cabbage maggot 
Flea beetles 

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Caption: Adult flea beetle damage on potato leaf
Photo by: Unknown
Turnip, Rutabaga : Flea beetles
(revision date: 3/10/2017)

Flea beetles are small, brown to metallic black beetles with a habit of jumping like fleas when disturbed. They feed on many plants including beets, kale, collards, radish, and many weeds, particularly those in the mustard family. Small round holes are eaten 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

Use products according to label instructions as soon as flea beetles are seen.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Bug Buster-O [Organic]
    Active ingredient: pyrethrins  |  EPA reg no: 1021-1771-54705
  • 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.

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