eggplant: leaves have holes

ywchan(8)June 9, 2008

What happen to my eggplant plant?

Thanks

ywchan

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aulani

It sure looks like insects. It can't be hail or all the leaves would be affected. There are natural insecticides available if you are growing organic. I like your mulch. It looks like eucalyptus. If so, you probably don't get hail where you live. One thing you can do is grow marigolds with your vegetables. The natural pyrethrins in marigolds help a lot to keep insects controlled. Hope that helps a little.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:43AM
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thefarmguy

well my guess would be japanese flea beatles, are you familiar with them? they are quite tiny , black and jump like fleas when disturbed, maybe check under the leaves and see if tiny black specks are jumping away, think spritzing with safers soap will suffocate them, nice looking eggplant besides the bit of damage, is it a millionare?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:48AM
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calliope(6)

Gotta be flea beetles. They love eggplant. Soaps are not too effective against hard shelled insects because soaps don't work by suffocation. Soaps work on soft bodied insects by destroying the integrity of the 'skin'. Beetles, having a hard shell like chitin are pretty immune.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:42AM
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ywchan(8)

Thank you for the input. I didn't see any flea beatles or any other insects. Anyway, I will try to find marigolds at Lowes.

aulani what natural insecticides would you recommend?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:07PM
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calliope(6)

You often won't see flea beetles, as they spring from the plant very quickly when anything around them is disturbed. They certainly don't sit on the leaf and wait to be found. Marigolds will not deter flea beetles.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:15PM
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gardenwren

Yup, those are flea beetles. They jump to the ground when you come near them. They are a real pain to get rid of. Try making them uncomfortable by putting sand or diatomacious (sp?) earth around the plants. When they jump off the plant they won't be able to hide in the dirt easily. I've also heard about putting fresh mint cuttings around the plant. Don't know if this will work, but good luck.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 8:11AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Below is a discussion of organic flea beetle control.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flea Beetle Control

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 8:39AM
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jbann23(6 RI)

Unless you're terribly infested the flea beetle won't be around long. They arrive overnight and do their damage and hang around a couple of days. Heavy infestations can cause considerably more damage than your picture shows and then you'd have to go to stronger methods to erradicate them. By the way, eggplant is a favorite of almost every pest so expect some damage every so often. It doesn't seem to bother the plant at all.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 8:47AM
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aulani

ywchan, sorry I gave you bum information on the marigolds. Some say they don't work on flea beetles. I have marigolds all over the garden and don't have flea beetles so I was just assuming. Anyway, the link provided by anney is a very good one.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 9:29AM
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corapegia(z5 NY)

I've also found a second bug that likes my eggplant. It makes bigger holes that the flea beetles but is easily picked off and skwished. I don't know it's name but it is flat against the leaf, maybe 1/8 inch across and sort of squarish, black with some light colored markings. I just took two off my two eggplants and have found them before on my starts. I'll try for a photo. PS. I use rotenone powder on the fleas since I forgot them and didn't cover the plants with remay. I'll cover them now, after the rotenone has done it's job.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 9:35AM
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John11840(z6/CT)

My eggplant leaves look just like Mr. Chan's. I saw the tiny black insects you describe above as Japanese flea beetles. I sprayed with Ortho Max and that got rid of them.
John A

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 3:28PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Around here, flea beetles turn the leaves of eggplant to lace. If you're an organic gardener the ONLY way to get eggplant around here is to cover the plants with row covers until they start to flower. At that point you have to remove the covers for pollination, but for some reason the eggplant are much less attractive to flea beetles after flowering. This technique really works.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 6:45AM
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