How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pest identification and confirmation—Flea beetles

Their small size, enlarged back legs, characteristic shot-hole damage, and habit of jumping when disturbed make flea beetles easy to identify. There are numerous flea beetle species. The tobacco flea beetle, Epitrix hirtipennis, which is brown with black markings across its back, and the western potato flea beetle, E. subcrinita, which is shiny bronze or black, are widespread in the western U.S. The tuber flea beetle, E. tuberis, is found in Washington and Oregon. Other common flea beetles are the western black flea beetle, Phyllotreta pusilla, which is shiny black to dark olive green, and the western striped flea beetle, P. ramosa, which is black with a white or yellow curved stripe along each side of the back. All flea beetles are tiny, less than 0.10 inch long, and jump like fleas when disturbed.

Adult tobacco flea beetle
Adult tobacco flea beetle

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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