Biology Grape flea beetle overwinters as an adult. The grape flea beetle (or steely beetle) is a shiny, metallic dark blue. A more effective alternative is spraying with a pyrethrin compound or dusting with a diatomaceous earth. Adult flea beetles cause two types of damage—feeding directly on the buds and feeding on the foliage (See Figure 22.6). It may jump when disturbed. Chapter 22 Managing Vineyard Insect and Mite Pests Grape Flea Beetle. •Insecticides will reduce adult populations. Insecticides: In particularly heavy infestations, if more than 4% of grape buds are infested, spray an application of carbaryl, esfenvalerate or pyrethrin to reduce grape flea beetles. Newly hatched larvae of the grape flea beetle are dark brown and approximately 1/16-inch long. ), also known as the steely beetle, is a native insect and occurs in almost all states east of the Rocky Mountains and in Canada.Symptoms. Rose chafer, Flea beetle larvae, Redbanded leafroller: Same as for 4- to 10-inch shoot spray (if needed) ... Grape root borer control will affect use of Lorsban for other pests. Monitoring and Thresholds. Adult beetles and larvae also feed on leaves, but the injury they cause usually is negligible. Grape Flea Beetle. Exceptions include larvae of the tuber flea beetle, which can cause scarring of potato tubers, and larvae of flea beetles that feed on leafy spurge. The insect overwinters as an adult. At the time larvae and beetles are feeding on the upper surface of grape leaves, they are easily controlled by spraying. Cultural control is the key to killing flea beetles. Adults eat buds and unfolding leaves, causing leaves to be ragged and tattered. Proper timing of the insecticide is important to provide good control of grape flea beetles. flea beetle populations. If flea beetles are a chronic problem it may be necessary to target adults and larvae later in the season. Once the buds reach 25 mm (1”) flea beetle damage is usually not significant. The grape flea beetle (Altica spp. During their spring feeding, grape flea beetle females lay their eggs on the canes and later die. Female beetles lay eggs mainly under loose bark of the grapevine. Flea beetles that develop in the soil as larvae often can produce 2 or 3 generations a season, such as the “cabbage flea beetles” and the “potato flea beetles”. Grape phylloxera (leaf form) Control the root gall form of grape phylloxera by using rootstocks derived from American grapes. •Control is more important in newly-established vineyards. Remove all old debris from the previous crops and prevent weeds, which are an important early season food for flea beetle larvae. Without cover and food supplies, the larva will starve. Despite good cultural practices, pests and diseases at times may appear. Grape flea beetle is found in the eastern two-thirds of the United states. Grape flea beetle bud damage is usually found in vineyard borders near woody areas, where monitoring should be prioritized. The larvae overwinter in soil and can be destroyed during regular hoeing and cultivating. Climbing cutworm injury: larvae feed at night, not visible during the day . •If vineyards were infested with flea beetle populations last year, they should be monitored this spring for the presence of larvae. The greatest injury occurs during prolonged cool springs with slow bud growth. They start to emerge at bud swell. •Control is typically not recommended unless damage is severe on mature vines. I do not recommend soap to control beetles as they have tough shells. Larvae feed on flower clusters and skeletonize leaves in a manner similar to adult rootworm feeding. If grape flea beetles are a pest on your grapevines, contact the UConn Home & Garden Education Center (877) 486-6271 (toll-free in CT) for recommended control materials and application times. 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