About Those Flea Beetles – yellow sticky traps ahead

UPDATE:  I am sorry to say this did not work. Seemed like a great idea.

One of the reasons I hesitated to post photos of the garden yesterday – the flea beetles are out of control! Leaving this lovely lacy pattern all over the eggplant plants – they must go!

This blog post just turned into a “how to”.

Lets make these cool and dirt cheap yellow sticky traps.

Lets make these cool and dirt cheap yellow sticky traps.

Plastic yellow cups, any size will do, and six inch wooden tongue depressors or craft sticks. Two cups will make three traps.

Plastic yellow cups, any size will do, and six inch wooden tongue depressors or craft sticks. Two cups will make three traps.

You will need scissors and a stapler and a small jar of vaseline which I forgot to photograph :)

You will need scissors and a stapler and a small jar of vaseline which I forgot to photograph 🙂

Using the scissors cut up one side, across part of the bottom and around the edge as seen here. Cut all the way around removing the bottom of the cup. Make sure you remove that small lip around the bottom edge.

Using the scissors cut up one side, across part of the bottom and around the edge as seen here. Cut all the way around removing the bottom of the cup. Make sure you remove that small lip around the bottom edge.

This is what the cup will look like with the bottom cut off. Then cut this cut in thirds. You can measure or you can just gestimate thirds.

This is what the cup will look like with the bottom cut off. Then cut this in thirds. You can measure or you can just gestimate thirds. Cut off the white top rolled edge also.

This is what your two yellow plastic cups look like now. Six panels of nearly the same size, the bottoms and the upper edge pieces.

This is what your two yellow plastic cups look like now. Six panels of nearly the same size, the bottoms and the upper edge pieces.

Sandwich together one section of cup, a craft stick and another section of cup. Make sure the yellow sides face out on both sides of the stick. make sure the stick is up about halfway on the cup. Then staple twice on the stick and once at the top edge of the plastic.

Sandwich together one section of cup, a craft stick and another section of cup, white sides together. Make sure the yellow sides face out on both sides of the stick. Make sure the stick is up about halfway on the cup. Then staple twice on the stick and once at the top edge of the plastic.

The finished product. The two lower staples attach to the sandwiched craft stick and the top staple holds the top together. This will be planted in the soil very near your eggplant.

The finished product. The two lower staples attach to the sandwiched craft stick and the top staple holds the top together. This will be planted in the soil very near your eggplant.

Just before using your traps carefully smear a thin layer of Vaseline on both sides of the trap – on the yellow parts only. Then plant the trap into the ground very near your eggplants. A thin layer of Vaseline should not drip into the garden soil. Remove the trap before it is completely covered with flea beetles and dispose of properly. These cups are # 6 plastic – recycle when possible..

I pushed the stick all the way into the ground so the yellow sticky part is near the ground. Flea beetles generally stay pretty low.

I pushed the stick all the way into the ground so the yellow sticky part is near the ground. Flea beetles generally stay pretty low.

An hour later there were several flea beetles already stuck to each trap. Good luck!

Let me know how it goes if you make these OR if you have any questions.

Do you have a favorite eggplant recipe?

signature, Sarah

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4 Responses to About Those Flea Beetles – yellow sticky traps ahead

  1. Mary Badiny says:

    Thanks Sarah I will try that. They are horrible the flea beetles! This a recipe that I just love from the New York Times Natural Foods cookbook by Jean Hewitt
    Eggplant Steaks

    2 Large Eggplants, slicked into 1/4 inch slices
    1 C. unbleached white flour
    4 eggs, lightly beaten
    2 Cups Cold Water
    1 Tsp. seal salt
    1 tsp. thyme
    2 C. Whole Wheat bread crumbs (I used Italian bread crumbs)
    1 C. wheat germ
    ½ c. sesame seeds
    ½ cup olive oil or soy oil

    1. Dredge the eggplant slices in flour
    2. Combine the eggs, water, salt and thyme. Mix together the bread crumbs, wheat germ and sesame seeds.
    3. Dip the floured eggplant into the egg mixture and then into crumb mixture
    4. Heat the oil in heavy skillet and fry the eggplant slices in it until golden and tender (I turn it over cook on each side). Drain on paper towels.

    • S says:

      That recipe sounds really good Mary. Thank you! I think the traps might need more vaseline than I put on them. I caught a few right off the bat then nothing. I did hit them with insecticidal soap today but wow they are thick! Let me know how yours work if you will.

  2. Sorry your stick traps didn’t work. Seems like it should have. I’ve been using tansy tea and it seems to be working pretty well. It definitely stopped the ants from mining aphids. If you don’t have tansy, maybe try strong mint tea. Not many bugs like mint! (Let me know if it works, too – I’m on an experiment jag!)

    • S says:

      I don’t have tansy Jill, but will try the mint tea asap. Thanks for the hint. Yea I was disappointed the home made sticky traps didn’t work.

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