Invasion of the very small...

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by greenboy, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. greenboy

    greenboy Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    this year I planted for the first time Eggplants, and they were attacked by small balck beetles, they did touch the fruit but they ate the leaves, what should I do? for the next season???
  2. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    northcentral Montana
    The first thing you really need to do is truly identify the beetles, as it will help determine how you will treat them/protect your plants.

    If they are small, about the size of the head of a pin and jump around very quickly, chances they are flea beetles. Pyrethrum and rotenone will take care of them, and an old gardener once told me to put talcum powder on the plants and that would take care of them.

    And there are some environmental things you could do, like put floating row cover over the plants before the beetles move in, or find a mulch color that will repel them.

    But identification is really the first step.

  3. cnj_fnr

    cnj_fnr Member

    Oct 27, 2004
    and if it is flee beatles (which is what always works my eggplant over at the start of the season) I have had luck with a tablespoon (or two) in a quart of water of a lemon scented hand dishwashing soap.

    In the past one or two times of this in the spring, and they left my plants alone. This year it did not work, but then neither did the stronger stuff.
  4. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    The Quiet Corner of CT
    I know you'll all think this is weird, but hey, i've been called worse by better :D I no longer grow eggplants, because I'm the only one who will eat them. But I always had severe flea beetle problems when I grew them. I use to take the leaves from mustard and cabbage and liquify them in my vita mix. Strained through a cheesecloth and sprayed the eggplants once a week. I don't know if it was the sharpness of the mustard greens or the stink of the cabbage, but it did keep the flea beetles away. I thought it was odd that it worked, becasue flea beetles don't seem to be so picky about what they'll destroy, but it did. I don't remember where I read about this "cure" but their other suggestion was rotted egg and cayenne spray....but that would have kept ME away!!
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Sounds like Flea Beetles. They are attracted to egg plants more than about anything else.
    Try keeping some rotenone powder around. When you see an infestation sprinkle the plants with the powder in the morning when the dew keeps it on the plant the best, but not before rain that will wash it off.