My potato plants have a bunch of tiny holes in the leaves, and these little black bugs. Anyone know what they are and if they do more damage than this?
They are likely Flea Beetles. Damage is always tiny shotholes in leaves; if too numerous they can weaken the plant.
Yes, likely flea beetles. Try touching them and see if they ‘hop’ away.
I’m not able to identify any actual beetle in the photo. 50 years ago the remedy was DDT.
Probably Sevin today…but that’s out of my department, as I’ve not used anything for flea beetles since I quit working with flea beetles eating tobacco plants about 45 years ago.
Thanks guys. If that’s going to be the jist of the damage they do I’ll probably leave them alone. I prefer not to spray poisons in my garden or orchard.
I get them every year on my eggplants and just smoosh them between my fingers whenever I can get them before they hop off. They seem a bit slower in the morning. If they are really bad the leaves can get a bit lacy. I’ve never had them overwhelm a plant, but I’m either lucky or just a good enough smoosher.
With low to moderate populations, they tend to eat on the lowest leaves; healthy potatoes should be able to outgrow them.