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    Bugs for Growers — Radish

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    Tiny flea beetles causing a serious damage to my organic radish crop

    Flea beetles are very small insects but they can cause a very serious damage to many [caption id="attachment_303" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A flea beetle feeding on a radish leaf (Click to enlarge)"]"Flea beetles are pests of radish"[/caption] vegetable crops including radish. Last month, I have planted 15-20 radish plants in my organic vegetable garden and they are growing very well because we had a good amount of rain. Last week, when I went to harvest some of these radish plants from my organic, I saw several holes on the leaves of radish. After careful examination, I found out that several adult flea beetles were hiding in the radish foliage and realized that these holes were caused by flea beetle damage. [caption id="attachment_304" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Severely damaged leaves of radish leaves by flea beetles (Click to enlarge)"]"Radish leaves damaged by flea beetles"[/caption] Since I have only a few plants, I thought I can catch them and kill them. However, my efforts failed because these tiny beetles are very active and able to runaway very fast. I am hoping that the natural enemies such as braconid wasps (I see sometime in my garden) may suppress the population of flea beetles. Application of environment friendly beneficial nematodes to target larvae of flea beetles would be an another option to manage flea beetles. Beneficial nematodes are not harmful to humans and pets.