Flea Beetle

Subject: Safe or not?
Location: North east USA, Pennsylvania
July 8, 2016 2:48 pm
I occasionally find these in my kitchen they kind of jump and I believe they have wings like ladybugs but I haven’t seen them fly just jump…
Signature: Concerned Mama

Northern Plantain Flea Beetle
Northern Plantain Flea Beetle

Dear Concerned Mama,
Thank you for including a pack of Newport cigarettes for scale, and in our opinion, that pack poses a far greater health threat to all involved than this Flea Beetle does.  We believe we have correctly identified it on BugGuide as the Northern Plantain Flea Beetle,
Dibolia borealis, and based on the size relationship to the pack of cigarettes, the stated 3mm size seems about correct.  According to BugGuide, they feed on:  “Plantago spp. (Plantaginaceae)” and “Larvae are leaf miners of plantains. ”  According to The Herbal Encyclopedia:  “The plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean region and western Asia; but it now grows worldwide … .  To many areas, it is considered a weed.  The herb is an annual that grows to about sixteen inches in height, producing narrow leaves and clusters of tiny whitish-brown flowers.”  Plantain grows in many fields and open areas in the eastern part of North America.  Perhaps you have some plantain near your kitchen which is causing the Flea Beetles to accidentally enter your home.   

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