University of Illinois Extension
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Flea Beetles
Eggplant and Sweet Corn


There are several species of flea beetles attacking eggplants and peppers. Flea beetles causing a lot of damage on eggplants are called eggplant flea beetle. The flea beetles also attack tobacco, and potatoes. Adult flea beetles overwinter and become active in mid-spring, they attack plants closer to their overwintering site first. Females lay eggs around the base of the plants. Larvae feed on roots but do not cause serious damage on eggplant and pepper plants. After feeding on the leaves, the larva drops onto the ground where it pupates in the soil. There are two to three generations of flea beetles in Illinois. The adults feeds on leaves and heavily damaged leaves may completely dry out. The adults also transmit Stewart’s wilt causing organism.


Plant sweet corn varieties that are resistant to Stewart’s wilt. Spray heavily infested areas in the field edges with insecticides recommended in your state, use row covers in home gardens.


flea beetles