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basil/mint bug pest

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If anyone would be able to identify this bug that has been destroying out basil and mint crop, i would be most grateful. They look like a little bettle with a metalic looking hard-shell body, when disturbed they 'jump' which makes it a bit tricky to catch them... they are not very big but they destruction is bad!! All my beautiful basil and mint all destroyed!! :(
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Trang
Puncbowl
1st March 2009 4:52pm
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Jimmy says...
rutherglen bug?
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3rd March 2009 10:03am
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Ellen says...
Any green thumbers in here know of any proper but safe solution of getting rid of this bugs?,,,it's so destructive, After spraying it would be gone, but next season it's kept coming back,
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Ellen
Smithfield
4th March 2009 4:35am
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au0rey says...
What damage did this bug cause? Does it suck sap or eat the foliage? I have basil and mint in my garden but I have not encountered this bug yet. How about building a cloche and place it over the herbs? I have small potted herbs so I did a cloche out of cardbox and plastic (like a mini greenhouse) over my mint. My area is more affected by aphids and caterpillars. The cloche helps to keep out bugs but the herbs still can access sunlight.
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Melbourne
5th March 2009 9:42am
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Ellen says...
auDrey

Yes, this bugs does a lot of damages, it not only sucked the sap out of the leaves, but also eat the leaves away in small portions as well ..

My mint /basil patch got infested with this bugs 4 yrs ago .

1st yr, I sprayed, but it is not very effective, as it kept coming back so I've to let my mint/basil dies out.

2nd yr. I pulled every thing out of the patch, and let the regrowth grow slowly .

3rd yr. as the mint started to grow strong, this bugs came back to infest it.

4th yrs. again I've to let it dies out again.

it's starting to get annoyed with this bugs, don't have the patience anymore .
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Ellen
Smithfield
5th March 2009 10:51am
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Trang says...
Thankyou everyone for responding. Ellen, i am at that stage where i don't have the patient anymore... i've pull the whole lot out, i let it sit barren, i re-planted and wait patiently for it all the come back in greater number than before and turned all my beautiful, lush green mints and basil into horrible brown mess with lots of holes in it!! The real puzzling thing is, i have no idea where i've gone wrong, i have not introduce anything into the garden and all my plants were healthy... and i've been planting things for the last 20 odd years with no problems what so ever.... until now!! :(

Jimmy, I've checked the QLD agriculture website and it's definitely not the rutherglen bug... besides those attack sorghum and related species not herbs.

Thanks Audrey, i might give your green thumber a go... i think that's the only hope of me getting some herbs out of my own garden!! :))

I wish i can send picture to someone who can identify it for me... Some friends suggest that i crush a few, then dilute their bodies in water and spray back on the infected plant, the remainder bugs should run off because they can smell 'death'... but i just cannot bring myself to crush them...
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Trang
Punchbowl
10th March 2009 10:00pm
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Ellen says...
This Bugs problem with this particular type of bugs have only been surfaced over 5 yrs.
Before that I've never had problem with this bugs, come to think of it, I've not seen this type of bugs in my garden before too, Trang .
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Ellen
Smithfield
11th March 2009 2:55am
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Meg says...
I too have this bug, it came to my garden last year and I just can't seem to get rid of it. It is eating my basil, mint, spearmint and pinapple sage :( If anyone knows what it is and how to kill it pls pls let me know!
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Meg3
Seven Hills
5th November 2009 3:14pm
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amanda says...
Hi guys - this looks like your culprit: (metallic flea beetle):

http://www.cottoncrc.org.au/content/Industry/Publications/PestsandBeneficials/CottonInsectPestandBeneficialGuide/Pestsbycommonname/Fleabeetles.aspx
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
6th November 2009 10:15am
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Julie says...
It says 'control measures' but doesn't say what they might be. I guess you would have to contact the website.
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Roleystone WA
6th November 2009 7:28pm
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Laurel J says...
Thanks for this information Amanda.. these damn things are managing to ruin my basil, sage and mint.... any suggestions as to control - other than spraying etc... right now have spent coffee grounds plus crushed egg shells as I thought it might have been snails but.. snails haven't been seen so it HAD to be something else. Thanks again.. now for the remedy!!!
Kind regards... Laurel J (in Sydney)
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Laurel J
 
10th January 2010 7:19pm
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Laurel J says...
Hi Amanda.. if you have a great solution at the ready.. perhaps you might send me a message at
laureljau@gmail.com
Many thanks.
Laurel J
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Laurel J
 
10th January 2010 7:23pm
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amanda says...
Hi Laurel J - I don't have these bugs (I think the wind blows away most pests here!!) so I am not much help :-( Sorry.
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
11th January 2010 10:23am
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Charles cant spell says...
Funny they are focusing on your mints etc, they are not meant to target those types of plant. Do you grow any collards etc ?

A quick web search give the following to try:

Flea Beetle Control: Remove garden trash and plow or roto-till under weeds to reduce overwintering sites. Floating row covers are extremely effective when placed on seedlings and left in place until plants are old enough to tolerate beetle damage. Place yellow sticky traps throughout garden rows every 15 to 30 feet to capture adults. Beneficial nematodes applied to the soil will destroy the larval stage, reducing root feeding and helping to prevent the next generation of adults from emerging. Diatomaceous earth can be dusted over plants to control the number of feeding adults. If pest populations become intolerable, spot treat with botanical insecticides as a last resort.


TONIC FOR THE FLEA BEETLE. Back in the early days, our ancestors thought tomatoes were poisonous, so they avoided them. Flea beetles do too. Here is the recipe for this tonic:
2 cups tomato leaves, chopped
tsp of any brand dish soap
1 quart of water

Put the leaves in water in a pan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Strain out the leaves; pour into a hand-held sprayer and spray your plants from top to bottom. This will also repel whiteflies, asparagus beetles, and cabbageworms. Reapply this bug tonic after each rain.

Flea beetle:
For flea beetles we carry: 1600 X-Clude, Diatomaceous Earth, Rotenone/Pyrethrum Spray, Yellow Sticky Traps

Adults are tiny at 1/10 of an inch and hop like a flea. They have a brown or black body (some with yellow stripes.) They lay eggs in the soil with 1-2 generations per year. Adults overwinter in garden debris. The larva will feed on plant roots whereas the adults attack foliage and stems. They flourish in stable warm spring weather but do not fare well during alternating periods of hot and cold temperatures with intermittent rains. They will not eat in wet weather and hide.
Predators: Toads, which eat all stages of the bug as will chickadees, vireos, purple finches. Ground beetles and parasitic wasps will hunt them.
Repellent plants: Candytuft, garlic, mints, shepherd's purse, tansy and wormwood.

* Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth as a barrier around plants or dust the whole plant with it.
* Onion and garlic are natural flea-beetle repellants. Teas can be made from these plants to use a spray on susceptible plants.
* Seedlings are most vulnerable to flea beetle feeding when stressed, particularly by lack moisture.
* Flea beetle control can be aided by using yellow sticky traps. Place individual traps every 15 to 30 feet of the plant row.
* Make a barrier of lime or coffee grounds around vulnerable plants.
* Plant radishes or pak choi as trap crops. Stretch pantyhose over young cabbages. Tie top and bottom.
* Chinese Daikon and Snow Belle radish are favorites of flea beetles. Plant these at 6 to 12 inch intervals among cole crops.
* Use a mulch of chopped clover. Hot pepper or garlic sprays can help.
* Scatter chopped and bruised leaves of tomato, mint, catnip, wormwood, bergamot or elderberry on and around plants the beetles like.
* Wave strips of fly paper over plants. This disturbs the flea beetles, making them jump and get snared on the paper. This works extremely well!

Given that last comment maybe a strong vacuum with a large headpeice (i.e. 3L milk carton top cut off and taped on your vaccum tube.

I have no experience thank god, they look annoying. So no idea if any of that works, however most site recommend similar stuff.

Cheers,
Charles Otway
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Charlesstillcantspell1
Perth - Innaloo
11th January 2010 11:51am
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Original Post was last edited: 11th January 2010 11:55am
Meg says...
Thanks Charles, I will give all that a go (except the bit about growing mint near the effected plants since it is the mint they are attacking).
I asked Yates website and they replied: Spray with Baythroid to reduce numbers. more information: http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/fleabeetle.html.
I tried that spray but they came back (quickly too). I think the key is getting rid of the soil too. I think I will empty my pots out and start again from scratch but using some of the methods you have above on my ground garden that has these beetles.
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Meg3
Seven Hills
14th January 2010 12:56pm
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amanda says...
Hi Meg - i wonder if it's worth breaking the breeding cycle while u are at it? (ie don't grow the things they like for awhile?)
It's frustrating when bugs make themselves at home like that! The least they could do is go away after they have had their fill!
There is a few weeks in early spring where I just can't/won't grow certain things due to the aphid plague then.
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
14th January 2010 1:09pm
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Laurel J says...
Yesterday I received a little someting about cucumbers - seems they too can be of benefit re basil and mint etc... the idea being to place a few slices on a small tray (or something similar) and just leave.. apparently garden pests really loathe cucumber. I'm going to give it a try ... will let you all know what transpires.
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Laurel J
 
14th January 2010 2:12pm
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Trang Le says...
Thankyou Amanda and Charles, they are in deed the dreaded metallic flea beetles. An organic lecturer at TAFE identified it. He suggests to spray a mixture of chilli, garlic, onion, grated pure soap... for added measure, i also a a few drop of milk too... that seem to get them hopping off for a while, then they came back when the brew wears off... so the trick is to spray regularly.

Also, the larvae live in the soil and likes hot, dry condition. Therefore on cool or rainy days, you don't see many of them about.

So what i've been doing is giving my plant a good soaking almost every day (simulating rain), for my chocolate mint pot which has very dry soil, i place a dish of water underneath and that seems to have improve the mints and therefore they survive the attack better).

As for the adults which are on the plants, i fill a small bowl with water, wet my hands and then i go about grabbing them off the plant and dunk them in the water, so that they cannot jump away! So far it seemed to have worked, we still get a few holes here and there and some browning... but over all, the basils are very healthy... the peppermints are getting better but the spearmints are still not doing so well because where they are, the soil tends to be quite dry. I might just dig them all out and heap with new soil to give them strength and hopefully immunity to defend themselves.

Meanwhile, if anyone has success with any of the remedy, please send us a quick update... so hopefully we will all have healthy plants the next season. :)
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Trang Le2
Punchbowl NSW
14th January 2010 11:23pm
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Julie says...
I have no idea if I have this beetle, as I have seen no pests at all on my basil. But they are full of shotholes and I look like losing a few.

Could anything else do this?
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Julie 1
Roleystone WA
24th November 2011 8:16pm
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Mike says...
I can't get the picture up but my sweet and thai hot basil get attcked in winter by an orange and black bug that swarm over the plants but mainly attack flower stalks and some stems.Pointy grasshoppers also dine on the basil and carbaryl hold them off for a week or two at this time of the year.
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Cairns
24th November 2011 9:02pm
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