We grow radish without pests, or how to put an end to the cruciferous flea

Radish is one of the first vegetable crops that delights gardeners with its juicy, healthy root crops. Many people look forward to its harvest - their vitamins from the garden are qualitatively different from the greenhouse vegetables that are sold in stores. But often our expectations are not met because of a harmful insect, a booger, which, despite its pettiness, can destroy all our radish hopes in a matter of days.

Cruciferous flea: portrait of a pest

The pest received the first part of its name because of gastronomic predilections - it prefers plants from the cruciferous family to all other green cultures. It is with pleasure that an insect settles on weeds of this species: colza, shepherd’s bag, wild radish, yarok. Among garden plants, prefers cabbage, turnips, turnip. But the earliest feast is arranged on young and tender sprouts of radishes. They call a flea insect because of the hopping hind legs, like fleas, although it has nothing to do with blood-sucking parasites.

The cruciferous flea is small - the body length is not more than 3 mm - a flying bug with an oval-oblong body and long antennae. There are several varieties of these insects: wavy, light-footed, notched, black, blue, etc. First of all, they differ in the color of the elytra, which can be black, have a metallic tint or longitudinal yellow stripes.

The pest belongs to leaf-eating beetles - it damages the leaves by scraping off the top layer of the leaf plate, gnawing ulcers-depressions in it, and young greenery can be bitten through. The insect larvae feed on the thin roots of plants. They are the most dangerous pests of all cruciferous crops and are widespread throughout the European part of our country, except for the regions of the Far North.

The bugs are most active in the period from 10 to 13 hours of the day, as well as in the afternoon - from 16 to 18 hours.

In winter, adult pests spend in plant debris, in the upper layer of the soil, can settle in the crevices of greenhouses and greenhouses. In early spring, as soon as the soil begins to thaw, the flea leaves its shelters and begins to actively feed. Then the females lay their eggs, the pest larvae settle in the ground for 2-3 weeks, then pupate and after 1-2 weeks a new attack of young beetles attacks the plants.

A cruciferous flea can produce from one to three generations per season.

Photo gallery: varieties of cruciferous flea

A wavy flea is distributed throughout the European part of Russia, in the Caucasus, in Siberia to Primorye, in Kazakhstan, and Central Asia. In addition, the species range covers Western Europe, Western Asia, Algeria, USA

Notched cruciferous fleas - pests of crops in Yakutia, Primorye, in the Amur Region

Light-footed cruciferous flea - an inhabitant of the forest strip in the southern regions

Blue cruciferous flea is common in the forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part, in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Western Siberia in West and North Africa

Black cruciferous flea, it is also southern - the most dangerous member of its family

Signs of radish damage and cruciferous flea damage

Although the cruciferous flea is small in size, it is difficult not to notice its presence on radish plantings. It is expressed in the following features:

  • visual detection of insects that jump in different directions at the slightest danger;
  • small through holes appear on the leaves;
  • then most of the green plate is damaged, skeletonizes, gradually dries;
  • gnawed passages are visible inside the leaf pulp.

It’s very easy to understand that a cruciferous flea appeared on the radish: all the leaves of the plant are riddled, and small, shiny bugs jump between them

The danger of the pest is that in a short period of time it is able to completely destroy young seedlings. Radish sprouts appear early, it is the first to take on the attack of the aggressor, because just at the time of emergence of the culture, cruciferous fleas are activated after the winter period. The mass spread of the pest is dangerous not only for young seedlings, but also for adult plants: beetles will eat leaves and the upper layer of the skin on the stems, and the larvae will damage the roots of the plant.

It is with pleasure that a flea attacks even coarsened radish testes: it damages the buds, gnaws holes and pits in the pods.

How to get rid of cruciferous flea on radish

First of all, prophylactic and deterrent methods are used, and only in case of emergency it is necessary to use chemical preparations.

Pest Prevention

Protect radish plantings from the cruciferous flea in advance, without waiting for the appearance of the pest. Here is a list of preventive measures that will help the gardener prevent small aggressors in the beds:

  • plant radish next to coriander planted with garlic or dill in the winter. The smell of these plants scares off the cruciferous flea. If you plant a radish at the end of summer, then plant it next to marigolds, nasturtium or calendula. Repellent plants release substances into the air that leaf beetles cannot tolerate;
  • add strongly smelling agents to water for watering: carvalol, tincture of valerian, fir oil (10-15 drops per bucket of water). A flea does not like strong odors;
  • lay freshly collected wormwood on the bed;
  • a bed with a radish can be mulched with tansy branches, broken off by stepsons of tomatoes;
  • remove weeds regularly;
  • carry out the obligatory autumn digging of the garden. The bugs remaining in the soil for the winter will be close to the surface and will die during the cold snap;
  • provide the plants with enough nutrients so that they grow powerful, strong. Well-developed bushes are less attractive to the pest than weakened or small ones;
  • sow the radish as early as possible while the pest is still in hibernation.

Compliance with agricultural practices when growing radishes is one of the conditions for protecting it from pests

Some gardeners advise to plant weeds from the cruciferous family on the perimeter of the site occupied by the radish. This measure allegedly distracts the pest from cultural plantings. Such a step must be recognized as extremely risky - after all, you cannot explain the cruciferous flea which plants are intended for it and which ones the owner grows for his own consumption.

Folk remedies for scaring and removing cruciferous fleas

Many gardeners consciously refuse to use chemical means of protecting radishes from pests and diseases and at the same time achieve positive results. The proposed recipes are primarily suitable for those who can devote a lot of time to their garden and carry out these treatments not once, but systematically, evaluating the results and changing, if necessary, the compositions and methods used. Here are the simplest and most common folk remedies for the control of the cruciferous flea.

Wet cultivation

The pest loves dry and hot weather, and dampness does not tolerate. Therefore, it is recommended to choose for the sowing of radishes the wettest parts of the garden, as well as abundantly water the shoots.

In water for watering a radish, you can add a few drops of a substance with a strong smell, for example, tinctures of valerian or fir oil

Dry pollination of plantings with various mixtures

Experienced gardeners claim that the cruciferous pest does not like to eat dirty leaves. Therefore, the most common method of scaring off fleas is pollination of plantings. For this procedure, you can use mixtures of various compositions:

  • ash + tobacco dust;
  • ash + lime fluff;
  • ash + road dust.

All components are taken in equal proportions. Pollination gives an effect if it is carried out in the early morning when dew is present on the leaves, or after watering the plants. So that the powder lies in a thin and even layer, it is poured into a gauze bag and gently shaken over the leaves.

If dusting is carried out after moistening the beds, then particles of ash and dust stick to the leaves for a long time

From a single pollination, a special protective effect can not be expected. It can qualitatively protect radish planting only if it is carried out regularly, after each rain or watering. Another condition for efficiency is careful processing when dusting not only the upper, but also the lower part of the sheet plate.

Shelter sprouts radishes non-woven material

For this purpose, spunbond, lutrasil and the like are excellent, which transmit light, air and moisture well, but do not allow fleas to reach young plants. And if the bed before shelter is dusted with ash, then the effect of double protection will be obtained. When the seedlings grow up, their leaves will become coarser and will not be so attractive to the pest, the shelter can be removed.

Lightweight and durable fabric protects not only from cold and weeds, but also from numerous pests

Pest traps

Trapping a cruciferous flea can be done using a sticky flag. Do this as follows:

  1. Take a piece of cloth and fix it on a stick.
  2. Then cover the fabric with any sticky substance (for example, solid oil).
  3. Pass along the garden, slightly touching the fabric of radish leaves.
  4. Since disturbed insects usually jump or fly away from danger, they will surely fall onto the sticky layer.

It is better to catch fleas at the height of the day in hot and dry weather. It is necessary to go over the bed several times at short intervals.

Catching with an improvised sticky flag significantly reduces the number of cruciferous fleas on the garden radish.

Flea traps can also be arranged using used engine oil. In this product, the fabric is moistened and laid out on cardboard or trimmed boards every 3-4 m near a bed with a planted radish. For greater efficiency, such traps need to be turned once or twice a day.

Spraying with decoctions of herbs and other infusions

Ash and tobacco can be used not only in dry form, but also prepare infusions from them:

  • 1 liter of boiling water + a glass of ash is insisted for two days, add liquid or grated laundry soap, stir and use for spraying;
  • 200 g of tobacco dust is poured with a bucket of hot water, insisted for a day, 100 g of soap are added, filtered and radish plantings are processed.

Among other popular formulations for spraying radishes from a cruciferous flea, the following can be mentioned:

  • 1 cup chopped garlic + 1 cup tomato stepsons pour 10 liters of warm water, insist for 6 hours, strain, add 1 tbsp. a spoonful of liquid soap;
  • add 1 cup of 9% vinegar to a bucket of water. Processing with this composition should be carried out in dry weather;
  • chopped roots and leaves of dandelion (500 g), insist for 4 hours in a bucket of water, strain, add 1 tbsp. a spoonful of liquid soap;
  • potato tops (2 kg) pour a bucket of water, boil, strain, add 1 tbsp. a spoonful of liquid soap. It is better to spray in the evening. Instead of potato tops, you can use the stepsons of tomatoes.

All the listed compositions have been tested by hundreds of gardeners. Someone had a good cope with the pest ash, someone prefers vinegar spraying, but we can definitely say the following: in order to determine an effective method for your garden, you need to try several methods, and then the pest will back off.

Tips of experienced gardeners

Last year I read in a newspaper, squeeze a tube of toothpaste into a bucket of water, and so they water and spray it. I tried it on Beijing cabbage. 3-4 days no fleas. Then you need to repeat it.


I sprinkled everything with tooth powder, it became much less!

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Acetic essence, 1 tsp 2 liter bottle - daily spraying.


I sprinkled the radish with a mixture of red and black pepper, very much sprinkled and the impudent flea did not touch the radish.


Last year experimented. Three times with an interval of 8-10 days, a solution of flea shampoo was sprayed for animals. There were no fleas! But ash and vinegar did not help. Dissolve 3 spoons on an 8 liter sprayer.


Mustard powder helps very well in the fight against cruciferous mustard powder: to dust the ground around the plant and slightly the plant itself. For wide natures, black ground pepper is suitable. It’s also tested, but it’s not easy ...


We deal with cruciferous fleas in two ways. First, dust the bed with ash. The second, all the plant “juveniles” that the flea loves, are covered immediately with non-woven material. According to my observations, the cruciferous flea affects mainly young shoots, growing cabbage seedlings under any covering material, we successfully avoid the cruciferous flea on cabbage and radish.


I plant the second year salad on the radish. I can’t say that I don’t see her at all in this garden, but the fact that fleas are much smaller and young growth has time to get stronger before they eat it is for sure. I advise you to try.


In the book The Amazing World of Beetles, he read how Russian peasants dealt with a cruciferous flea. They sowed large sections of cabbage, a cruciferous flea was already then, but there were no chemicals. The peasants did the following: they took a stick, attached a canvas to it (a design in the form of a flag was obtained), the upper part of the flag was smeared with a sticky substance (a kind of tar). A man took a stick in his hand and passed along the garden bed, guided the lower part of the canvas over the leaves of cabbage, the fleas flew up and stuck. After the fleas accumulated a lot, they were cleaned, again smeared with canvas, etc. This had to be done every day (in hot and dry weather). The Germans borrowed this idea, only the peasant was replaced by a horse, that is, they made horse traction. What time! And no chemistry!


A good result is the treatment of radish leaves (and other cruciferous) with tansy powder (common mountain ash). The baskets harvested during flowering are dried, frayed in a mortar until a powder is obtained, with which the plants are pollinated - 10 g of powder (matchbox) per 1 m2. The odorous substances contained in the powder repel pests. You can catch cruciferous fleas with a piece of cloth dampened with plenty of waste in automobile or diesel oil. Oil-soaked cloth should be laid out on baking sheets placed on ridges every 4 m. After 3 days, the cloth needs to be turned over. You can frighten off cruciferous fleas with a powder prepared from celandine if you smoke or pollinate plants with it. As you can see, you can completely do without pesticides. At the same time, you will save both the environment and your own health by eating environmentally friendly vegetables.


Chemical Remedies

Specialized retail outlets offer a wide range of pest control products, including cruciferous flea. Among the most popular are:

  • Actellik;
  • Karbofos;
  • Aktaru;
  • Decis;
  • Bankol;
  • Fastak;
  • Karate, etc.

Chemical treatment is carried out only in case of emergency and in compliance with all safety rules

Radish is treated with these drugs in dry, calm weather, preferably in the evening, when most pests sit on the leaves of the radish.

Given that the vegetable belongs to precocious crops, and it is possible to consume products from the garden after treatment with chemical preparations no earlier than 20–25 days, the use of insecticides in the case of radishes should be recognized as highly undesirable.

Video: cruciferous flea - control and prevention measures

Cruciferous fleas are the most dangerous insects for radishes. But if you follow preventive measures, as well as know and use ways to deal with them, you can avoid problems with this early vegetable and grow a decent and tasty crop.


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