May 28, 2008
Sticky Traps for Flea Beetles
Insects like the same plants we humans do. When I planted sesame, it came with its own pest, a worm that ate the insides of the seed pods. When I planted brown and yellow mustards for seed, they, too, came with their own insect pests.
We into the season of flea beetles on eggplant, aphids on tomatoes and potato beetles on potatoes. Some pests, like aphids on tomatoes, spread fungus and wilt. So this week we began spraying weekly with super fine oil spray, alternating with Safer Soap spray. Additionally, I had Adam making sticky cup traps for placing next to the eggplants and tomatoes. In just 2 days the yellow cups had attracted hundreds of flea beetles and aphids.
The system is simple. I cut some stakes about 15 inches long. Wearing rubber gloves, Adam covered the outsides of the yellow plastic cups with Taglefoot (available in most garden and hardware stores). Once covered on the outside, he attached the cup, lamp shade style, over the end of the stakes already driven in the ground next to each plant. With a thumbtack pushed through the bottom of the cup into the stake, the trap was complete. The traps will have to be replaced with new ones in two or three weeks. The traps cut down on the pest population very quickly and the spraying keeps them under control.