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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What insect is this? > Garden Pests > Beetles, bugs, ants, and other insects without obvious wings - Under 1/4 inch long > Grape flea beetle

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Grape flea beetle

Altica chalybea

Grape flea beetle

Eric Burkness, University of Minnesota

Description: 1/5 inch long. Oval-shaped, shiny blue-green body.

Where/When: Feeds on buds of wild and cultivated grapevines and Virginia creepers (the larvae feed on leaves). Active from late April to early June and late July through August.

Significance: Tunnels into buds in spring, damaging them. They are generally not common and damage is typically not important, although they can become numerous in localized areas, causing significant damage and reducing yield. Leaf feeding in late summer is not important.

Management: Monitor grapevines in the early spring for grape flea beetle activity. Although active later in the summer, it is not important to monitor their activity then. Remove debris and leaf litter in and around grapevines. This will help to eliminate overwintering sites.

Insecticides: In particularly heavy infestations, if more than 4% of grape buds are infested, spray an application of carbaryl, esfenvalerate or pyrethrin to reduce grape flea beetles. Proper timing of the insecticide is important to provide good control of grape flea beetles.

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