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Badboy bugs

This last season I hardly had any problems with beetles, bugs, caterpillars and aphids in my garden. The ones that did come by uninvited, they didn’t leave too much damage – almost as if they were being polite. The aphids were devoured by ladybugs and the caterpillars were hand-picked and “placed” elsewhere (the chickens don’t like the furry, colourful squigglies)

But these little nasties destroyed my rocket OVERNIGHT!! My sweet rocket and wild rocket (arugula) were both targeted. They are so tiny I could not see them with my naked eye. Taking a macro shot of them and – WOW!! They are beetles! I was convinced they were black aphids.

Does anyone know what these are!!???

[one_half]Look at the damage!![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Millions of holes![/one_half_last]


I hope someone can help!! I thought that no insect likes rocket because of the pungent smell. I am sorry to have lost my last rocket bush!

I hope you all have a great gardening week!!


By Barbara

Country living is the best! Being a true spirit of the earth, my garden is all about vegetables and fruit trees and herbs and chickens roaming free. I was keen to really start gardening when we moved to Philadelphia in 2005, but not your typical suburban-type garden – sterile and bug-free! I wanted an edible garden.

7 replies on “Badboy bugs”

An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker
who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I found it
for him… lol. So let me reword this….
Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to
discuss this subject here on your website.

Hallo again. Just to let you know that I also had those flea beetles, and they also ate up all my wild rocket. Thank you for sharing the name. I can’t remember when I had them, but I got an email from your blog to let me know a new comment had been made and I see it was on this page. I let them eat the plant because I have wild rocket growing wild in my garden, seeds itself, and I hoped it would pop up again, which it has — tons of tiny yellow flowers, not many leaves, but well, I have given up trying to perfectly grow my own veg!

Regarding my lemon tree, I discovered the culprit: a dog caterpillar, a big green juicy thing. I took it across the road, and thankfully my lemon tree has started to sprout some new leaves.

Unfortunately I have noticed beetles in my pots where I’ve got spinach, lettuce, and basil growing beautifully. It’s on a very sunny balcony and no badboy bugs had got to it in a few months. Now yesterday I finally saw one of those awful beetles, the ones that resemble fishmoths. Do you know the ones? I don’t know the name. But they seem to be bad news in other parts of my garden. (I don’t use any poisons in my garden, so I just let it all do its own thing.)

Hi Barbara. Amazing photos! I am convinced that I have beetles destroying my lemon tree. Every time a new leaf shoots out, it gets munched up overnight. But I have seen insects that look like beetles under the mint pot next to my lemon tree, and my mint gets chowed from time to time as well, so I am assuming it is beetles. It could be a slug, but I don’t see those around (except in my worm bin). I’ve now dug up the lemon tree and planted it in fresh soil and compost in a pot in another spot — let’s hope it recovers. And I’ve also planted heirloom radishes in the pot because I read that radishes deter beetles when left to flower and go to seed. I tell you what, I had no idea how BEAUTIFUL the radish flowers are! Delicate pink flowers. My radishes are the plum variety (they grow huge like plums!). So let’s hope the radishes that grow will deter whatever it is that is eating my lemon tree. Good luck with your rocket! Regards, Marilyn

Wow – I can imagine how frustrating it is. I can surely feel it! It is like it happens overnight. I must Google these little nasties!! Will get back to you with what I find.

I have just found out that they are Flea Beetles!! They destroy the Brassicas – rocket, cabbage, broccoli, etc. I found 2 recipes to get rid of them naturally:
1) Green Lacewing – Chrysopidae
2) Tansy Decoction – Pour 10 litres of water into a container together with 300 g of tansy (30 g if dried) and leave to soak for a whole day. After 24 hours, heat the mixture and let it boil for 20 – 25 minutes. When the decoction is cold, filter it and it’s ready to be sprayed directly onto the plants.
If your plants are infested by Flea beetles, the arch enemy of all Brassicas (cabbages, radishes, rocket, etc.), spray them evenly with it every 3 days, for at least two weeks.
This decoction, diluted with another 10 litres of water, once cold, is particularly effective for preventive purposes. When the winter frosts end, if you use it for three days in a row, every other week, you’ll prevent Flea beetles and moths from settling in your garden and avoid rust on currant bushes and beans.


Bring 10 litres of water to the boil and then add the tansy – the same quantities used for the decoction – leave to soak for roughly 15 minutes, then filter the mixture and leave to cool.
Used pure, directly on the plants, this infusion is useful against mites and nematodes; diluted by one third, it can be used to fight infestations of aphids or moth and cabbage butterfly larvae.
It’s a wonderful repellent for onion flies, leek moths and carrot flies, in this case you must dilute it with the same quantity of water.

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