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flea beetles

 
Leah Sattler
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my eggplant is getting chomped on by flea beetles. they were going after my tomato plants and I sprayed them with a diluted mixture of clove oil and soapy water and that was enough to deter them. apparently the eggplant is yummier because it is not working with them. any 'laying around the homestead' ideas for keeping them at bay? I can't go and buy anything right now.
 
paul wheaton
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I think it would be good to learn more about them.  It seems that in the permie world there is always a completely different way of looking at this sort of thing.

But long before I ever heard of the word "permaculture" I remember that large amounts of DE at the right time in the morning made a big difference.  And a vacuum.

But, surely there is a better way to look at this ....  maybe plant something that seems to drive them off?

What eats flea beetles?

 
Leah Sattler
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i did a little googling and turned up two strategies. one is trap crops of giant mustard or radishes. the other is keeping the plants seperated to make it harder for them to travel. so maybe I need to do like I prefer with my squashplants and 'hide' my eggplant in amongst other things. and since all my early plantings make for yummy flea beetle food I need to find some things to plant in spring that can help 'hide' my other plantings. 

my eggplant looks like it has been shot with bird shot. and with the tons of rain swamping and threatening to compeltely drown everything in my garden they are not taking off to outgrow the damage. so it looks like I will be replanting my eggplant. maybe I can get some cheap ornamentals or herbs to plant them near to confuse the little buggers. any suggestions for a shoestring?
 
                        
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Not sure the permie way to do it. I ad problems with them on our bell pepper plants. I'm growing two extra plants this year to use as bait to keep them off my broccoli, since they prefer the pepper to broc. You might check around and see if they would prefer pepper to eggplant?

There are "organic" fly traps out there, which you set around the plant base and the fleas get stuck on the fly paper. Not sure how truly organic, non toxic etc that is. I'm guessing that's not very permie either. 
 
Travis Philp
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This website: http://www.ghorganics.com/page9.html#Flea beetle: claims that onion or garlic sprays work against them. I'm having trouble with flea beetles too and will be trying this out. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
Travis Philp
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according to some companion planting charts, sage, and some plants in the allium family can deter flea beetles.
 
                                  
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I tried water-garlic-oil-dish soap mixture, that works pretty well with aphids, but my bellpeppers are still being eaten. The eggplants are still growing fast. Hmmm...
 
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