Sometimes seen running in plain sight, Eggplant Flea Beetles are tiny, black leaf munchers that collectively damage an assortment of plants in the nightshade family. Potatoes and tobacco are also on the menu. Like fleas, this small beetle jumps even though it is a beetle. An inspection of leaves generally shows feeding activity in the form of small brown-edged spots all over every leaf's surface. The adults nibble the leaf interior, but the larvae start chewing on roots underground. Both can hamper a plant's health and that can result in a smaller fruit, a small harvest, or even plant death.
Preventing the beetle from finding the plant using row covers until bloom time is an effective strategy to combat infestations. Beetles overwinter near food plants, so larvae may already be in the ground in spring. Other means of controlling populations include chemical sprays (used according to the label) and tilling the ground around the plant. The sooner the Eggplant Flea Beetle is discovered, the better the chances of heading off serious plant damage.
Known Diet of the Eggplant-Flea-Beetle
eggplant; potato; horsenettle; tobacco
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Eggplant Flea Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Eggplant Flea Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.