Flea beetles are only a couple of millimeters in size, and have relatively large hind legs. When you disturb them they jump like a flea. They show up in late spring when weather is lovely, and munch on many different plants depending on the kind of flea beetle they are. This one seems particularly fond of anything in the Brassicaceae family. There are other flea beetles that will eat potatoes, beans, lettuce--you name it.
Natural predators of flea beetles include the larvae of green lacewings (which also like aphids as you can see)
|picture by University of Vermont|
|picture by Gardening-for-Wildlife.com|
Since I don't want to use any sprays in my garden, I need to start working on attracting these guys. The other thing I can do is use row cover (like Reemay) to keep them off seedlings when they migrate to the garden from weeds (where they overwinter as adults).
The good news is that there has to be significant damage before my yields will be affected. Right now I just have to accept the look of my veggies- slightly perforated!