Flea Beetle Alert!
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Please be aware that flea beetles have been spotted in Lee County. According to Table 9-4 in the 2020 Flue-Cured Tobacco Guide produced by North Carolina State University, the economic threshold for flea beetles for Pre-Harvest and Harvest is 60 flea beetles per plant. However, applications made below the economic threshold are common and can vary from producer to producer. Flea beetle infestations are often sporadic and hard to forecast. Scout your fields often as flea beetle populations can grow exponentially in a matter of days. Treatment options include: Actara, Admire Pro, Assail, Exirel, Orthene.
Before making any application, know what you can and cannot use post layby according to your contract. Orthene is not allowed post layby by many tobacco companies.
Products such as Exirel offer 2-3 weeks of flea beetle and hornworm control and may be a good fit for some growers, however, this is a very expensive application and I would recommend scouting before making an application.
To discuss flea beetle scouting, treatment options, and thresholds, please contact me at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Lee County Center. I can be reached at 919-775-5624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.