Will neem oil control/kill flea beetles?

Our greatest challenge is flea beetles on:
1. young kale & collard plants;
2. delicate Asian greens such at tatsoi, various bok choy;
3. the first leaves of all radish plants.

Will neem oil control/kill flea beetles?

Comments for Will neem oil control/kill flea beetles?

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Neem oil for flea beetles
by: Birgit

Flea beetles are a tough one. Neem oil inhibits feeding so there should be some relief. However, if you use overhead irrigation then it is difficult to keep the neem on the plants.

Neem oil does not kill flea beetles, it kills very few insects on contact. The problem with flea beetles is also that they hide in cracks in the soil and under debris so they are hard to get at. You'd need to spray and soak the soil as well. That would also get the eggs at the soil line on the plant stem. But again neem oil is not very stable there, so it needs to be done frequently.

Neem oil disrupts molting and is toxic to the larvae, but the larvae live underground at the roots. No way to get at them.

You'd need to keep up a very rigorous spray regime and use soil drenches, with time you can get on top of the problem. But from what I know flea beetles are certainly one of the tougher pests to get on top of. On a positive note, in tests neem oil gave better results than a pyrethrin/rotenone concentrate.

It's also important to use real neem oil, not some ready made spray with refined neem oil extracts as sold in some gardening stores. Those aren't very efficient.

Thank you - Birgit
by: Anonymous

Birgit - Thank you very much for you insights on how to cope with flea beetles. All your explanation of the habits of flea beetles & how to use neem oil is helpful. I will certainly try all. Corinne

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