How to get rid of flea beetles.

How to Get Rid of Flea Beetles Naturally (Home Remedies)

So, you need to get rid of flea beetles in your yard from eating your veggies. Naturally.

Sure, you’re probably freaking out from all the tiny beetles you see crawling around.

And the holes they’re leaving in your leaves.

Don’t fret. Let’s take care of them.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • How to tell if you have flea beetles (signs of infestation)
  • Why you have flea beetles
  • What they eat and the damage they do
  • Ways to get rid of them using home remedies
  • Pesticides that kill them
  • How to control, manage, and repel them
  • And more

By the end of this guide, you should have a solid foundation to eradicate them from your garden.

Feel free to bookmark this page for your convenience (it’s quite lengthy because it’s packed full of tips and tricks).

And, as always, you can ask me if you have any questions by leaving a comment or contacting me!

Sound good? Let’s send those flea beetles flying!

What’s a flea beetle?

Flea beetles are tiny, hard-shelled pests that are known for their jumping behavior when they get scared or threatened.

They eat anything from veggies and fruits to decorative flowers and ornamentals.

There are flea beetles that eat specific plants in the garden, and there are some that feast on a range of different plants.

Most gardeners will be dealing with flea beetles eating their vegetable crops. Plants like cabbage, kale, turnips, radishes, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and even mint are all susceptible to this pest.

Other names

Flea beetles have a bunch of different nicknames because there are so many diverse species.

Some of the most popular names for flea beetles are:

  • Pigweed flea beetle
  • Alder leaf beetle
  • Crucifer flea beetle
  • Striped flea beetle
  • Potato flea beetle
  • Spinach flea beetle
  • Western black flea beetle
  • Pale Striped flea beetle
  • Alticini beetles
  • Leaf beetle (mistakenly)
  • Jumping beetle (though, there are many bugs that jump).

What do flea beetles look like?

Flea beetle eating veggie plant.
Flea beetles can have a variety of patterns, colors, and striations.

There’s a huge diversity among the species, which leads to many different colors, patterns, variations, and shapes of flea beetles.

This makes it difficult to categorize them and give a clear answer on what flea beetles look like.

However, their appearance doesn’t stray too far from the beetle family genus Alticini.

There are some features about their morphology that you can use to identify them.

For starters, flea beetles have large hind legs which allow them to make their powerful leaps and jumps. They also have a pair of long antennae and a total of 6 legs.

They can be black, orange, tan, or yellow, but may have a mix of colors depending on the species. Flea beetles also exhibit different patternings on their back- they can be striped, solid, or even display a spotted pattern.

Each flea beetle is only about 1/16” in length, which is difficult to see. You can see them with the naked eye and don’t’ need a microscope, but when they jump up into the air, they can be hard to spot because of their lightning-fast reflexes.

The easiest way to identify them and distinguish flea beetles from other beetles like ground beetles or leaf beetles is the fact that they jump when they’re threatened. They’ll springboard up into the air to escape predators or when disturbed.

You can also check for signs of flea beetle damage to your plants, which can be a surefire way to confirm their infestation. You’ll learn about this later.

Life cycle

Flea beetle side view.
Flea beetles have a typical life cycle.

Flea beetles have a similar life cycle to any other common garden beetle.

The adults will overwinter in dense vegetation and wooded areas.

Eggs

When the spring comes around, they’ll mate as they’re active during this time. The adult females will seek out an area to lay single eggs or clusters, depending on the species.

They usually deposit their eggs within the soil, roots, or small holes found in the soil. Some species will also lay eggs on plant leaves or flowers. They’ve been seen in shrubs and trees.

As you can see, there are MANY different types of species each with their own behaviors and habitats.

Larvae

After a few weeks, the larvae will emerge from the eggs and feed on the roots of young plants. This poses a serious threat to seedling plants because they’re extremely vulnerable during this part of their growth. Sadly, many people plant during this time because it’s planting season. And these beetle nymphs are out to ruin the harvest.

The larvae continue to feed on the roots and you’ll notice that the plant will wilt, turn brown, or have stunted growth. You can dig up the roots and look for the beetle larvae under the soil.

They look like white worms similar to grubs or maggots. They curl up to “C” shape when disturbed.

Adult

Soon, the larvae will undergo pupation and transform into an adult flea beetle. This happens under the soil so you won’t see them at all. The adults emerge from the soil and continue the life cycle.

During this time, adult beetles are above the surface and will eat the leaves of plants. They leave behind holes that are irregular in shape and randomly scattered all over the plant. This Is the most common sign of flea beetles.

flea beetle larvae images

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How long do flea beetles live?

They can produce 1-4 generations per year.

Each larva feeds on roots for up to 3 weeks and remains in the soil for about 7 days after pupating. The adults come out of the soil and will live through the winter for a few years. There’s no specific timeframe as each species is different and the environment, food availability, and temperature all directly change the lifespan of a flea beetle.

Regardless, don’t’ depend on them to go away on their own because they won’t. You’ll just have damaged plants and a larger population to deal with next season.

Where do flea beetles live?

Flea beetle eating a plant.
They prefer plenty of vegetation to eat and to use for shelter.

Flea beetles are found in nature around wooded or heavily forested areas.

They like dense vegetation such as brush, trees, hedgerows, windbreaks, leaf litter, wooded areas, and unkempt gardens.

Since the overgrowth of plants contributes to a favorable environment for them, this is why many people find these pests appearing out of nowhere and suddenly. They breed quickly and can bring up a huge population very fast which can be a serious threat to younger plants.

Adult beetles will eat plants on the outside leaves, stamps, flower petals, etc. The damage from a single pest will leave a hole in the leaf.

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But when there are a lot of them feeding together, there can be larger holes in the leaves from coalescence and heavy damage. Some flea beetles only eat plant roots, which is what the larvae focus on.

Flea beetles are found all around the world, including the UK. But the steps to get rid of them remain largely the same. There are some proven home remedies you can use to control them naturally.

During the rain, these beetles will dig into the soil and take shelter. You may notice decreased activity when it’s colder outside or during heavy winds. 

Do flea beetles bite? Are they dangerous to humans?

Flea beetles don’t bite or sting and are harmless to humans and pets. Flea beetles only feed on plant matter and won’t bite humans.

However, because of their small size, they’re often confused with other beetles that bite. Their name is also confusing- they’re not “fleas” which DO bite.

Because they have the word “flea” in their name, this implies that they’re a biting insect- which they’re NOT.

Signs of flea beetle damage

Flea beetles have a two-part life cycle with different types of plant damage. If you’re looking for signs of a flea beetle infestation, you’ll want to check for different areas of the plant.

Adults will eat the plant foliage (leaves, flowers, buds, etc.) and make shot holes into the leaves. If you see many tiny holes appearing if your plant leaves, this could be a sign of adult flea beetles, which also means that nymphs are coming soon.

Younger plants are often targeted and this can harm and destroy the plant entirely. You need to act quickly to save younger plants from flea beetle damage.

Look for rounded holes that appear towards the lower part of the stem.

Also, check for shot holes near new leaves that sprouted. These are tender and easier to consume for the adults, so they tend to prefer these leafy greens.

Older and establish plants tend to handle flea beetle problems well. They can handle extensive attacks on the plant leaves because they’re large enough to fend off the attacks for quite some time.

However, if you ignore the problem, even the bigger plants can be seriously harmed by many adults eating up the leaves.

Harmed plants can also be susceptible to plant viruses and bacteria (blight, wilt, parasites, etc.). So you should control and eradicate the flea beetles ASAP.

Does the winter kill flea beetles?

Flea beetles aren’t killed by the winter or cold weather because they overwinter in heavy vegetation. This protects them from the elements and holds them until temperatures pick up to around 50F.

They’ll continue to wait until the ambient temperatures rise to mate and eat.

When are flea beetles active?

Flea beetle on vegetable.
They’re most active during hot weather.

Flea beetles are most active when the ambient temperature outdoors reaches about 50F.

They don’t need warm weather to propagate and do fine in cooler temperatures, which can be a possible reason why they’re so diverse and found all over the US.

Most gardeners notice that flea beetles emerge in the early spring when they do their planting for the year. Since young seedlings are spurting during this time, flea beetles can destroy or kill a plant.

Dry weather and sunny days bring out the most flea beetles.

Where do they lay their eggs?

The adult flea beetles deposit eggs on a plant stem near the soil surface. This occurs after mating around late spring to early summer. They feed and mate during the spring and lay eggs during the summer.

The larvae then emerge from the plant stem and start chewing at the roots of the young plant under the soil. This is what causes the majority of damage to plants from flea beetles.

Can flea beetles fly?

Flea beetles can fly. They can also walk and jump.

Flea beetles get their name because they jump when they get startled, so they can vanish out of your sight within seconds. Because of their ability to fly, they can reach tall crops like corn or wheat without any problems.

Barriers are also not as effective against them because they can simply fly over them. You should consider using talcum powder directly on the plant leaves rather than the soil and forming a “moat” for example.

Are they beneficial?

Catching flea beetles.
Flea beetles can help control weeds, but that’s it.

There’s a small benefit they add to the typical garden and that’s their ability to eat weeds.

Only a few species have been used as a biological control to eliminate weeds by consumption, such as the Leafy Spurge weed.

However, the small benefit of killing weeds doesn’t outweigh their destructive behavior of killing crops. This is why they’re considered to be a terrible, annoying pest.

Where do flea beetles come from?

Flea beetles come from the wild. They prefer heavy and dense foliage so they can hide from predators and have plenty of food. In nature, they inhabit plant roots, soil, leaves, and other vegetation.

They’re found in both flowers, ornamental plants, shrubs, and a variety of vegetables.

Newly hatched nymphs will often eat plant roots of seedlings while adults feed on the plant leaves and leave behind shot holes.

Why do I have flea beetles?

You have flea beetles because your garden provides a favorable environment for them to live in.

There’s no specific reason why your yard attracts them other than being suitable by providing plants that they eat and enough vegetation for them to hide. If you live in an area that’s native to high flea beetle populations, it should be no surprise that you’re attracting them.

What are they attracted to? What do they eat?

Flea beetle eating lettuce.
They’ll eat anything from fruits to vegetables. And more.

Flea beetles will eat a variety of crops and can kill young seedlings.

They’re a diverse species well adapted to feeding on a multitude of vegetation.

Some of the most common plants that flea beetles eat are:

  • Squash
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Sunflowers
  • Pepper
  • Eggplants
  • Rapeseed
  • spinach
  • Turnips
  • Cucumbers
  • Canola
  • Potato
  • Tomato
  • Mustard seed
  • Radish
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce

Flea beetles consume vegetables, fruits, legumes, and more. This makes them a very destructive pest, especially for young plants that aren’t established yet.

And since they emerge during the start of the planting season, their timing is inconvenient because they’ll eat newly emerging seedlings and can easily kill them.

Are flea beetles bad to have?

While some flea beetles can help control weeds from growing, the majority of them are destructive pests and will destroy younger crops.

Established plants can fend for themselves and will probably suffer some damage until the flea beetle season is over.

But for young crops that are just sporting, they’re a prime target for flea beetle nymphs and can be killed if enough nymphs are eating the roots. This means your entire harvest can be affected if you don’t get rid of them.

They pose a threat to both the backyard gardener and the industrial farmer because of their highly destructive nature.

How to get rid of flea beetles naturally

Flea beetle closeup.
You can control flea beetles using a few home remedies.

Here are some DIY home remedies to help control, manage, and eradicate flea beetles (both nymph and adult) from your garden. No single method here suits everyone.

You’ll have to use a few different ones and see what works best for you.

Regardless, they’re generally safer than using chemicals and most of them are natural or organic. You’ll want to go natural when possible because chances are that you have flea beetles on your edible crops. And you don’t want to mix edibles with poisons, right?

Do marigolds repel flea beetles?

Yes, marigolds are known to be plants that flea beetles hate. They’re easy to grow and do well in hardiness zones 2-12. You can check your zone on the USDA site.

Plant marigolds in a border pattern around the crops you want to protect. You can also plant them between each plot to further prevent the beetles from spreading between all your veggies.

Marigold releases a strong scent that the beetles hate and this will act as a natural deterrent. You can also use marigold essential oil if you don’t have the means to grow and care for another plant.

Create a flea beetle repellent

You can make your own spray at home by mixing 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 1 liter of water.

Adjust the measurements as needed. More dish soap makes a more powerful spray but could harm your plants if it’s too strong. Test the solution on a small leaf first before applying it to the rest of the plant.

Apply it during the early hours and let it stick to the plant. The dish soap helps repel beetles and keep them away. You’ll have to spray again after rain or when you notice that it’s no longer effective.

You can also add a few drops of neem oil or 1 cup of rubbing alcohol to enhance the effectiveness of the repellent. This is a quick and easy way to create your own natural deterrent at home.

Cover your plants

You can use protective row covers for your veggies if you’re raising lots of crops.

This is what some smaller farmers do for a quick solution to keep the beetles out.

The thing to make sure is that the covers are 100% sealed. If a few flea beetles get into the cover and start eating your plants, you can be sure that they’ll breed and render your efforts futile. Row covers are cheap and you can buy them tailored to your garden.

Of course, this approach is a little extreme for the typical backyard. But if you have flea beetles eating up your crops on a farm, row covers are something to consider.

Use a garden hose

You can spray them off with a garden hose every day in the morning and once at night.

Do it when you water your plants to save time. The constant disturbance with water will make the environment less favorable to them. Don’t overwater though, this will bring in other pests like booklice and clover mites and raise the humidity in your yard.

Remove them manually

Whoever said you can’t get rid of these beetles on your veggies by hand?

Remove them with a pair of garden gloves and dunk them into a mixture of soap and water to kill them instantly. Flea beetles also can be removed with a shop vac quickly to purge them from your vegetables.

Of course, change the vacuum bag or empty it so you don’t attract other bugs that eat them. This method isn’t the most efficient, but it does help minimize damage and can be useful when paired with other home remedies to get rid of these bugs naturally. No poisonous sprays needed.

Repel flea beetles with plants

Flea beetles will naturally stay away from a few different plants that have pest-repelling properties.

Some of the most effective plants that repel bugs are basil, catnip, strong mint, herbs, thyme, and marigold. You can companion plant these natural repellent stations around your crops that are infested. They’re especially useful when paired with plants that attract flea beetles like radishes and nasturtium.

One plant will attract while the other repels. If you plant enough repelling plants and surround the attracting plants, they’ll stay away.

Use sticky traps

Sticky adhesive traps can be an effective solution to catch flea beetles.

You can wrap a layer around the stem to prevent any beetles from climbing up. You can also wrap a small piece around each branching leaf to protect them from being eaten.

Beetles that jump may also get caught by the sticky tape. There are different types for different applications. Find one that’s safe for plants and apply it as directed. You can also consider using sticky stakes, which can go right into the soil to shield it from nymphs.

This is one easy technique to kill flea beetles. No “how-to’s” about it! Just set and forget. If you’re busy all the time and don’t want to hire an exterminator, sticky traps are the answer.

Attract predators

You can attract natural predators of flea beetles that eat them up without thinking twice. This may help control their population and also bring their numbers down.

Beetles do have a large number of parasites and bugs that prey on them:

  • Braconid wasps
  • Tachinid flies
  • Ladybugs
  • Predatory wasps
  • Nematodes

You can attract predatory wasps and tachinid flies by using specific flowers. Plant decorative foliage like herb fennel, coriander, caraway, Ammi majus, poppies, pot marigolds, and yarrow.

You can plant them between your crops to attract the predators. They’ll land on the flowers and also eat up any flea beetles they come across. This is an effective way to get rid of flea beetles naturally because you don’t need to use any dangerous chemicals.

And it’s quite passive- once you set up the plants and the predators come to prey on the beetles, that’s it. Just maintain the plants.

Use trap plants

As mentioned earlier, nasturtium and radish both are major attractants to flea beetles. You can use these as flea beetle “traps” that act as decoys to keep them away from your prized plants.

For example, if you have these tiny beetles on your mint plants, you can plant radish around the mint. The beetles will then be attracted to the radish rather than the mint.

See how they act as a decoy plant? Use strategic planting locations around your garden to keep the beetles away from your plants that you want to protect.

Coffee grounds for flea beetles

Coffee grounds have been reported to work as a flea beetle repellent.

Simply sprinkle some grounds around your crops, encircling the stems of the plant. This aromatic substance has been a long-debated topic regarding its effectiveness for repelling bugs.

Although there’s no solid proof, it’s worth a try if you’re already a coffee drinker. Just grab your used grounds and pour them around your plants that have a flea beetle problem and see what happens. They should be safe for most plants and are beneficial for soils.

Flea beetle traps

There are a ton of DIY flea beetle traps that you can make at home for cheap.

Other than using sticky tape, you can try these traps:

DIY cup trap

Use a small plastic cup (like a coffee cup from a coffee shop) and fill it up with water. Cover the cup with the lid.

Then smear something sticky all over the cup that doesn’t dry out. You can use sticky slime or tanglefoot. The way the trap works is that the sunlight heats up the water inside the cup which attracts the flea beetles.

Water has a high specific heat, which means it holds warmth well and takes a long time to dissipate (the opposite is also true- it takes a long time to warm up). This will attract the flea beetles at night when the ambient temperatures drop but the cup is still warm.

The beetles than are drawn to the cup and stick to the substance and get caught. Dispose of the cup after there are a ton of beetles stuck on it because this will attract other pests like ants and predatory spiders.

DIY sticky trap

You can make your own sticky trap at home using cardboard and vaseline.

Take a small piece of cardboard and cut it into a 6 x 2 square. Get a popsicle stick and tape one end onto the cardboard on the long end, so it should look like a spatula. Then cover the entire piece of cardboard in vaseline and stick the trap into the soil near your plants outdoors.

The popsicle stick end goes into the soil and the cardboard should be sitting vertically on top. Any flea beetles that jump into the trap will get stuck and die. Replace the traps necessary because they lose their stickiness over time.

Here’s a video demonstrating a similar trap:

Talcum powder for flea beetles

Talcum powder is a fine dust that you can sprinkle on your vegetable plants to keep flea beetles off. It’s a natural substance that’s safe for tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and other veggies.

You can buy pure talcum powder for cheap (check your local dollar store) and dust your plants with it. Most plants should have no adverse reactions, but you can always test it on a small part of the plant first if you’re worried.

Talcum powder rips their exoskeleton shell to shreds. It’s effective against all types of flea beetles- including pigweed beetles and alder leaf beetles and provides an effective way to get rid of them.

The talcum doesn’t kill the beetles, but rather repels them. You’ll need to reapply it because it easily comes off from rain or wind. Mild air currents can blow it off. But it’s cheap so you can buy a big pack and keep dusting.

You can find talcum powder in pure form, or buy baby powder, diatomaceous earth, or borax, which may contain smaller concentrations of talc.

All of these shreds their skin and kills them.

Spray neem oil

Neem oil is a powerful repellent that deters flea beetles without the use of chemicals.

You can buy pure neem oil and mix a few drops into a liter of water. Pour it into a spray bottle.

And then test it on your plants first before applying it to the entire thing.

You should just spritz a bit on a tiny leaf and see what happens after a day or so. If the plant looks OK, then spray the entire thing. The neem oil will keep many bugs off your veggies like click beetles, soldier beetles, and asparagus beetles.

But note that using too much neem oil will burn the plant, so use only a little bit to make a moist layer on the leaves and stems. And apply after the sun sets.

Also, some people and pets are sensitive to neem, so research the adverse effects first. Otherwise, neem makes a natural and effective repellent to keep flea beetles away.

This handles even the toughest beetles like the pigweed or alder beetles and can get rid of them in a jiffy.

Cinnamon is a natural flea beetle repellent

Cinnamon is another awesome home remedy to get rid of flea beetles.

You can buy cinnamon sticks or powder and then use it around your plants.

  • If you have cinnamon sticks, jab them right into the soil around your infested plants.
  • If you’re using cinnamon powder, sprinkle it on the soil, leaves, protect your plant containers, and between each plant as a barrier.

There’s also cinnamon spray, but the effectiveness of this doesn’t seem to work as well as the powder and sticks because the spray dissipates over time. But you can always try if you want. It may work out well for indoor plants where air circulation is poor.

Sprinkle kelp powder

Pure, organic kelp powder is said to repel beetles. Since it’s safe to consume, it’s probably safe to use on your plants. Just make sure to watch out for mold before eating your edibles. Sprinkle the kelp on the leaves, soil, and stem of your plants to protect them from flea beetles.

You can also use seaweed pieces.

Here’s a video showing it off:

Use wood ash

Wood ash can also help repel flea beetles and makes a nice alternative to talcum powder if you have none available.

Dust your plants with the wood ash and reapply as needed.

This is useful for younger plants who aren’t able to fend off the beetle infestations on their own.

Sometimes, you don’t even need to do anything else besides dust your plants until they get large enough to handle the beetles on their own.

Apply Bt

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium that’s commonly used to treat pest problems.

They’ll infest larvae and effectively stop the lifecycle from continuing. You can buy Bt online or at local groceries. Use as directed. Bt is generally safe to use even on edible plants, but you should always do your research and wash your plants before consuming them. Look for the tenebrionid variant of Bt.

Note that it only kills the beetle larvae and is not effective against adults.

Try wheat bran or rye

Wheat bran meal can be sprinkled around your plants to naturally kill the flea beetle larvae.

When they’re still small, the larvae consume the wheat bran which hyper expands inside of them. This will kill them from the inside out, kind of like over-inflating a balloon. You can also use rye to do the same thing.

Essential oils

Essential oils can be an effective way to kill and control flea beetles.

Most oils are pure and offer an organic solution to manage pests. Consider using peppermint oil, marigold oil, and rosemary oil.

You only need a few drops per container of water and you can find a recipe online. Essential oils are commonly used for DIY pest control and allow you to get rid of flea beetles organically.

Here’s a quick resource for making your own oil spray:

Just make sure that you ALWAYS test the stuff on a single leaf before applying it to your whole plant. Some oils will burn the leaves so you want to avoid that.

Also, people and pets may be allergic to essential oils, so be wary of that. Do your research first and always adhere to the product label.

Hire a professional exterminator

When all else fails, do the surefire thing and hire a licensed pest control company to handle the flea beetles for you.

There’s no shame in doing so and many will offer a pest removal guarantee or give you a free inspection and quote.

Consider your own time, effort, and money you need to pout in to handle the beetles yourself. Then weigh it against paying someone to do it for you.

Everyone values their time differently so that’s where you need to decide. But if you’ve tried a bunch of remedies and none of them worked, a professional can help answer your questions and get rid of the flea beetles permanently.

Research local pest control companies and read reviews.

Call a few. Do some evals. Get some quotes. Then hire one and be done with it.

What insecticide kills flea beetles?

Flea beetle hole damage on leaf.
There are a few different pesticides you can use to kill them.

If you need to use chemical pesticides to kill them, try looking for something with pyrethrin

Only resort to pesticides if you’re dealing with a serious beetle infestation.

After all, you may be eating those veggies! You want to avoid anything with commercial compounds that have lingering toxic residues.

Always opt for organic or natural pesticides when possible.

Another alternative to pyrethrin is pyloa, which is a mixture of pyrethrin and canola oil. This could be safer than straight-up concentrated pyrethrin.

Does Sevin dust kill flea beetles?

Sevin does have a few products that are advertised to kill flea beetles.

Always use the product as directed and avoid using dangerous pesticides if possible.

You shouldn’t resort to these unless the above home remedies don’t work out for you. It’s important because you’re probably using these compounds on your crops which will be made for consumption. And you definitely want to avoid eating those compounds, right?

But if nothing else works, you can try using Sevin (or any other brand). There are also natural and organic pesticides made just for flea beetles. Consider using those also.

Flea beetles on eggplants

Eggplants seem to be a popular vegetable that flea beetles attack. I’d suggest using a combination of talcum powder, sticky traps, and cup traps around the plant.

You can also manually remove the beetles by spraying them with a hose or even picking them off by hand. Finish it off by layering your eggplants with some essential oil spray to keep them off.

Here’s a video demonstrating some eggplant control techniques:

Flea beetles on lettuce

Lettuce is another veggie that attracts a ton of flea beetles.

Because the plant is vulnerable when it’s young (and that’s when beetles attack), you’ll have to be extra careful. Start by laying the foundation with some proactive techniques like talc powder, cinnamon sticks, and sticky traps.

Remove them by hand or vacuum, spray soapy water, or use neem oil as repellents as an active approach. Monitor your lettuce for flea beetles daily and constantly remove any you come across.

You may also consider using stakes and using sticky tape between each lettuce plant to prevent the beetles from migrating to your entire harvest.

Here’s a resource with some ideas that might help you out.

How to get rid of flea beetles in the garden

Flea beetles eating vegetable seedling plant.
Flea beetles in your garden can be controlled, but it’s not easy.

Flea beetles will show up in your garden because that’s the primary attractant.

Fruits, vegetables, flowers, and decorative ornamentals will all be sources of food for them to eat. Once you notice the telltale signs of beetle infestations, you’ll want to act quickly as they can decimate your smaller plants.

Start by identifying exactly what they’re eating.

You can do spot cleanup by removing them manually from the affected plant. Spray some essential oils (peppermint or neem) as a double layer of protection to keep them off (after you’ve made sure the oil doesn’t burn them- read all warnings before using ANY oil).

Set up some sticky traps or make a cup trap and put them around the plant. Make a barrier using talcum powder, diatomaceous earth, or baby powder between each plant.

And finally, use cinnamon everywhere else. This will make a solid base to keep them off and stop future beetles from coming back.

You’ll want to monitor your plant daily to measure the effectiveness. If you see fewer bugs, then it’s working. Keep it up.

If you see more damage or more plants being eaten (holes in the leaves), then you’ll want to double-down on the remedies you’re using or try something else.

Flea beetles appear suddenly in large numbers so they can be frightening and hard to control. But with continued efforts, most infestations can be handled without the use of chemical pesticides.

How to get rid of flea beetles in the house

Flea beetles in house.
Flea beetles in your home are easy to eliminate.

If you have flea beetles coming into your home, that’s a sign of a major infestation outdoors.

They may have gotten inside your house through a window, door, or some other crack. You’ll want to check out your home from the outside and caulk or seal up any crevices you come across.

Other than that, be sure to remove all accessible food (veggies, fruits, and indoor plants) from the beetles to disrupt their lifecycle

  • Keep your home clean by vacuuming any spills, cleaning up soil, and storing food properly.
  • Don’t leave dishes out.
  • Dispose of food as soon as you’re done eating.
  • Monitor your indoor plants for flea beetle activity (or just move them out temporarily).
  • Check your pets for any beetle hitchhikers. And NEVER LEAVE FOOD OUT.

Flea beetles may wander into your house by accident and they’re not hard to get rid of since it’s not their natural environment.

But you want to make sure that you control them and eliminate them quickly before the adults deposit eggs in your soil and cause a headache.

Further reading

Here are some references you may find useful:

Did you get rid of the flea beetles (permanently)?

Flea beetles eating eggplant.
Enjoy your flea beetle-free harvest!

You should have the knowledge and tools you need to control, manage, kill, and repel flea beetles from your home and garden!

These pests won’t likely kill larger plants that have been established.

But for your little seedlings, you need to watch out because they gobble them up. Never ignore a flea beetle infestation and handle it ASAP.

With patience and some effort, you can utilize the home remedies on this page to get rid of them naturally.

Do you have any questions? What methods worked for you? Let me know in the comments section below.

If you found this guide somewhat useful, please let me know (or how I can improve it). Consider telling a friend if you enjoyed the read!

Thanks for reading!

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