Holes in your Vegetable Leaves? 

Admiring the new tender foliage on your potatoes or other edibles, you may notice pin point holes in the leaves.  On closer inspection you see a tiny little black bug jump straight up!  You may have some flea beetles in your veggie garden. 

Being less than 1/10 inch long, and jumping like fleas when disturbed, and characteristic shot-hole damage, make these pesky bugs easy to identify. Adults feed mostly on leaves, leaving tiny pits or small holes at their feeding sites. Flea beetles feeding together can cover leaves with bleached, pitted areas or ragged holes.

These bugs are generally just a nuisance and don’t do much damage.  Clean up debris in the fall to remove any overwintering beetles. Use a protective covering on tender plants until they are in the sixth leaf stage; older plants are less likely to suffer damage.  Encourage beneficial generalist predators in the garden like green lacewings, big-eyed bugs, and damsel bugs to keep flea beetle larvae in check. 

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