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Efficacy trials of OMRI approved materials on vegetable crops

Crucifer flea beetle

Crucifer flea beetles are another difficult to control pest for which the most commonly used control options are row cover and rotenenone. Some of the newer materials, such as neem products (Ecozin and Neemix) and Hot Pepper Wax, have repellent effects, so we thought they might have some usefulness against flea beetles. Two separate trials were conducted. Broccoli transplants were grown in four inch pots until they reached the 5-leaf stage, treated, and placed in cages in which field collected flea beetles were released and allowed to feed for four days. A spreader-sticker was added to all treatments. Damage was evaluated using a rating system which ranged from 0 (no damage) to 4 (severely injured).

Mean damage rating

Treatment Rate/A 8/29 9/7

Surround WP

15 lb.

2.3 a

2.5 b

Hot Pepper Wax

8.0 oz

2.4 ab

2.0 a

Rotenone 5%

3 lb.

2.5 ab

2.3 ab

Surround/Safer soap

15 lb.

3.6 cd

3.0 b


8.0 oz

4.0 d

4.0 c


16.0 oz

4.0 d

4.0 c



4.0 d

4.0 c

Values followed by the same letter are not significantly different

In these trials both Surround and Hot Pepper Wax provided control equivalent to rotenone. While the level of control is not what you would want for greens, it may be enough to get seedlings and small transplants established. They may need frequent re-application; that aspect was not tested in these trials.