Communications Bldg.Lincoln, NE 68583-0918. The early generations’ larvae feed on roots and underground stems, and sometimes on growing tubers. Their body is whitish with a yellowish or light brown head. The principle damage by the potato flea beetle is foliar while the economic damage by the tuber flea beetle is to the tubers to be harvested. In contrast to crucifer flea beetle, the potato flea beetle is shorter and broader (more ‘chunky’), has a more pitted and hairy body surface, and is less shiny, though both are all black and about 1/8 inch long. Usually only the potato flea beetle, found in the eastern half of North America, will occasionally cause enough foliar injury to be economically important. The import of potatoes from infested areas in Portugal and The potato flea beetle is found from mid-Nebraska east to Maine and along the Atlantic Coast south to the Carolinas. Damage by flea beetles is of two major types, on foliage and on tubers. The tuber flea beetle adult is also small, only about 0.1 inch long. The tuber flea beetle (Epitrix tuberis) is generally the most damaging to potato tubers. The typical damage is either small holes or tunnels on the surface of the tubers. Flea beetle infestation are sporadic and unpredictable; economic thresholds are not known. Flea beetles are small but destructive pests in the home landscape. They are deposited in soil crack near the surface and are not seen due to their very small size. Description and Life History Two species of flea beetles are of major concern. Epitrix potato flea beetles pose a serious threat to potato production in the UK. Controlling weeds around and in potato fields is a key part of holding down flea beetle populations. They have six short legs. On close inspection they are slightly hairy and the wing covers are not shiny as occurs on many other common flea beetles (e.g., western black flea beetle on cabbage family plants). 207.764.3361 or 1.800.287.1462 (in Maine), 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Greenland Point, 4-H Camp & Learning Centers at Tanglewood & Blueberry Cove, Insect Pests, Plant Diseases & Pesticide Safety, Affiliated Programs, Partners & Resources, Non-Discrimination Statement & Disability Resources, Register for Workshops, Classes, & Events. The beetle targets tasty plants in the families Solanaceae (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) and Brassicaceae ( including cole crops: broccoli, kale, cabbage, collards ). They are about 1/16 inch long. Larvae that feed on roots, stolons, and tubers also cause damage. So, besides holes, small raised bumps also may appear on the tuber surface. Flea beetles can be found on a wide variety of plants. They are deposited in soil crack near the surface and are not seen due to their very small size. Potato and tomato are generally the most seriously affected. Flea beetles are small beetles that jump when disturbed. This insect is much easier to spot when the plants are small. This species resembles the potato flea beetle but has black legs and slightly hairy wing covers. The potato flea beetles are considered by many to be one of the most serious pests threatening the entire EPPO region today. Tender seedlings may be particularly targeted. 2. It prefers Solanaceae plants such as potatoes and tomatoes, and is generally found east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. Simply sprinkle a light dusting... Spraying plant leaves with neem oil can get rid of flea beetles and discourage them from feeding on the leaves. The last generation of larvae cause the most economic damage by feeding on mature tubers. Foliar products used for other pests such as Colorado potato beetle and green peach aphid work well against flea beetle adults. Although the potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is often associated with Colorado, these little pests are found all across the United States. The flea beetles common to potato are small, black beetles. Treatment for larvae are not available. Their hind legs are enlarged for jumping. Flea beetle adult, flea beetl… The tunnels are usually shallow but can extend as much as 1/2 inch deep. Normally, there are one to four generations per season depending on locale. They are about 1/16 inch long. The tuber flea beetle, found in the western half of the continent, is especially damaging as they scar the tuber badly and also drill deeper. The adult weevil feeds on all parts of the plant but reproduces only in the stems and roots. All flea beetles have large back legs which they use for jumping, especially when disturbed. Adult - oval; shiny green to black; large hind legs; 1/16 inch Larvae - thread-like grubs; whitish; up to 1/3 inch, Overwinters as adults in debris or hibernate One to four generations per season Generation is 4 to 6 weeks up to 9 weeks, Foliage has shot-hole appearance Tubers have narrow tunnels and possibly scars, Crop rotation Weed control Systemic soil insecticides at planting Foliar insecticides when used for other pests, 105 Ag. In early spring the adults become active and the female flea beetle lays her eggs in small holes in roots or soil. Potato flea beetle on potato plant. However, there also are reports that the tuber holes can act as entryways for pathogenic bacteria such as soft rot and fungi such as dry rot making the tubers unsuitable for seed as well. Adults have an oval body, and their color is shiny green to brown to black. In light soils, many of the adults will go into a hibernation period below normal plowing depth. Colorado potato beetles, in both adult and larval forms, chew the leaves on garden plants and can defoliate entire crops if you don’t get rid of them quickly. Some species may have white or yellow stripes on their wing cases. Flea beetles, for the most part, are attracted to small seedlings of common European vegetable crops. 4. 1. Larvae are elongated soft-bodied grubs about a quarter to a third inch long. Some parts of this site work best with JavaScript enabled. Potato flea beetle damage on potato foliage appears as scallop-like scoops, rounded pits or shotholes originating from the underside of the potato leaf. The potato and tuber flea beetles usually will burrow into the ground a few inches but may go as deep as a foot and a half. An exception is the spinach flea beetle, which is 1/4-inch long. Potato flea beetle adults are small , about 0.1 inch in length, metallic greenish brown to black in color. The females lay eggs in the soil at the base of sweetpotato or other plants that are hosts. Pupa are rarely seen as they form several inches in the soil. After about 10 days, larvae hatch. In potato, the principle flea beetles are in the genus Epitrix and are considered a minor pests. Potato flea beetle: Adult. Potato flea beetle larvae feed on potato tubers. Some species have stripes. Potato flea beetles complete their development on plants belonging to the family Solanaceae, but the adults may feed on a wide range of unrelated plants.. Western black flea beetle: this pest has a shiny dark green appearance. Signs/Symptoms. Potato bugs (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) are a common pest in garden beds. Flea beetles overwinter as adults in leaf litter, hedgerows, windbreaks, and wooded areas. The flea beetle is a small, jumping beetle of the leaf beetle family, that makes up the tribe Alticini which is part of the subfamily Galerucinae. Common, soil-applied systemic insecticides work well in controlling adults. This injury is not economic to treat for and rarely defoliation occurs. Adults emerge when the temperature reaches 50oF, between May to early June in the North and earlier in the South, and begin feeding on weeds or Solanaceous bedding plants such as tomato. The tuber flea beetle is found from western Nebraska and Colorado west through the inter-mountain States to the Pacific Coast up through the Pacific Northwest. Since flea beetles tend to stay around potato plants, crop rotation may play a key role. Flea beetle control is an ongoing battle that relies upon three levels of approach. Though most tribes of the Galerucinae are suspect of rampant paraphyly in the present delimitation, the Alticini seem to form a good clade. This type of damage can predispose the plant to early blight because of the amount of damaged tissue. Western potato flea beetle (Epitrix subcrinata) Pest description and crop damage Three species of flea beetles-the western potato flea beetle (E. subcrinita), the tobacco flea beetle (E. hirtipennis), and the tuber flea beetle (E. tuberis)-are known foliage feeders in Pacific Northwest potato fields, especially west of the Cascades. Pupation is short; newly-formed adults are soft-shelled and crawl to the surface where their shell hardens and darkens. The eggs hatch in 7-14 days, and the larvae, small, white worm-like bodies, feed on the roots. They tend to jump like fleas when disturbed. Eggs are white and oval. They damage plants by chewing small “shotholes” in the foliage. The sweet potato weevil is a serious pest in the field and in storage. Potato tubers, or soil attached to the tubers, could carry the pest (as pupae, adults or possibly larvae) over long distances. Choose Movento® for the best preventative foliar aphid control. Sweet potato leaves are often damaged by sweet potato flea beetles (Chaetocnema confinis); however, most damage to the plant occurs from larvae feeding on the roots. The sweetpotato flea beetle has not been studied in the Pacific islands, so this account is adapted from the life history of other species elsewhere. Their feeding results in tubers with narrow, straight tunnels about 1/32 inch wide along the perimeter of the tuber. Adult beetles are black, about 1/16-inch long and usually hop away when disturbed. Its antennae are 2 ⁄ 3 the length of its body. There are many varieties of the insect, which attack a wide range of vegetation. Adults are small (1/10 inch long), shiny, dark brown or black beetles with large hind legs that allow them to jump when disturbed. Adults have an oval body, and their color is shiny green to brown to black. Potato flea beetles are a small black hopping insect. They will overwinter in plant debris and weed hosts. A slight chlorosis, yellowing, may occur around the holes. There are many small leaf feeding beetles called flea beetles because of their well-developed hind legs that allow them to jump like fleas. They are slender, whitish, and about 0.25 inch long when mature. But they’re all potentially disastrous for your crops—if left unchecked, they can destroy the roots and foliage of a variety of plants in no time. Even low numbers of larvae reduce sweet potato quality and marketable yield. Injuries are usually minor and easily outgrown on establi… How to Get Rid of Flea Beetles Try this homemade spray to control flea beetles: 2 cups rubbing alcohol, 5 cups water, and 1 tablespoon liquid soap. They live underground and feed on the roots and tubers of young plants as well as on germinating seeds. They are all characterized by enlarged hind legs for jumping. You have likely seen their damage in the tiny holes scattered across your prized hosta or ornamental kale. Eggplant flea beetle: this is a mostly black bug that targets eggplants. Flea beetles are minor pests of potatoes in California, except in the Klamath Basin … Potato flea beetles are a small black hopping insect. Average of 15 shot holes per terminal leaflet. The larvae of the potato flea beetle will feed on potato tubers causing pits and roughness. Sweet potato weevils are most numerous close to the soil surface. Flea beetle adult, flea beetle leaf damage, flea beetle tuber damage (from left). Flea beetles also feed on tomato, potato, pepper, beet, spinach, turnip, radish, plus almost every other vegetable to some degree. Dusting your plants with plain talcum powder repels flea beetles on tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and other plants. Both the adult, or beetle, and the black-spotted, red larva feed on potato leaves. Potato flea beetle development. The common black and yellow-striped "potato bug", a very familiar insect, is the most serious pest of potatoes. They vary in color from black to metallic gray. Extensive tuber feeding can make the tuber unmarketable for the fresh and processing markets but have no effect on seed tuber vigor. Adult flea beetles overwinter near where they emerged. Following egg hatch, and small white larvae feed on the roots of the newly planted seedlings, causi… Potato flea beetle: this bug is a mostly black beetle that targets potato plants. These are the tuber flea beetle, Epitrix tuberis, and the west-ern potato flea beetle, Epitrix subcrinata (Fig. Flea beetles are a type of leaf beetle in the family Chrysomelidae. Flea beetles, or Alticini in scientific terms, are pesky, shiny little beetles that come in a variety of colors. They look very much a like and are hard to distinguish; however they are geographically separate. Colorado Potato Beetle. The cycle normally takes four to six weeks but can be delayed to nine weeks under unfavorable conditions. DESCRIPTION. The adult tuber flea beetle is oval and black with reddish antennae and legs. Their damage can greatly reduce yield and even kill plants. These crops would include cabbages, lettuces, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, kale, eggplant and a host of different food plants. The flea beetle (family Chrysomelidae) is a pesky visitor to most gardens. Adults mate and eggs are deposited on the soil surface and in its cracks near potato plants. When the rare severe infestation occurs, plants can defoliate, and tubers can become remain small and become deformed. Their feeding results in characteristic circular holes less than 3 mm in diameter. Flea beetles can be black, bronze, bluish or brown to metallic gray. Their hind legs are enlarged for jumping. Damage to foliage is from feeding adults of all flea beetles and are small round holes scattered in the leaf blade giving them a “shot hole” or seive-like appearance. Adult Epitrix species are similar in appearance, being dark brown/black (1.5 -2.0mm) with a characteristic enlarged femur on each of its hind legs (see figures right ©Jean-Francois Germain, LPNV Montpellier). The pits appear as black spots on peeled potatoes. Striped flea beetle: a beetle with striped wings with a shiny black or greenish carapace. Symptoms of infestation Flea beetles are small beetles and jump easily in the foliage of plants. Adult flea beetles range from 1/16" (potato and striped beetles) to up to ½" in length for the spinach flea beetle. Historically the flea beetles were classified as their own subfamily. However, most flea beetles attack only a few, closely related plant species. Larvae are elongated soft-bodied grubs about a quarter to a third inch long. Eggs are white and oval. Their body is whitish with a yellowish or light brown head. 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