How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Palestriped Flea Beetle
Scientific name: Systena blanda
(Reviewed 1/07, updated 6/09, pesticides updated 5/15)
In this Guideline:
Flea beetle adults are small (about 0.12 inch long), shiny beetles with enlarged hind legs that allow them to jump like fleas. The palestriped flea beetle has a broad white stripe down each brown wing.
Adult flea beetles do most of the damage by feeding on the undersides of leaves, leaving small pits or irregularly shaped holes on the leaves. Large populations can kill or stunt seedlings. Older plants rarely suffer economic damage although their older leaves may be damaged. In the Imperial Valley, larvae feeding on roots has caused serious damage on occasion. This damage is easily confused with cavity spot symptoms.
Manage for palestriped flea beetles by removing weeds along field margins and deeply discing plant residue in infested fields after harvest. Do not direct seed or transplant artichoke crops near alfalfa fields.
Check newly emerged seedlings twice weekly for flea beetle damage until plants are well established. Relatively low populations can cause economic damage when plants are in the cotyledon or first true leaf stages. Treat if you find several damaged plants in multiple rows; spot treatment of outside rows or borders may be sufficient. Baits are not effective.
No economic thresholds are available, but treatments, especially on young plants, should be considered if damage reaches a moderate level. Insecticide treatment should rarely be required, but if it is, one application should suffice. Once plants have several true leaves, they can tolerate several beetles per plant without damage. Older plants are even more tolerant. Chemical treatment may disrupt biological control of aphids and whiteflies.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Artichoke
Insects and Mites
M. A. Bari, Artichoke Research Foundation, Salinas
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:W. E. Chaney, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
W. L. Schrader, UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego County
L. Handel and T. K. Shannon, Kleen Globe, Inc., Castroville, CA