Evidence of the battle is visible in the photos. Flee beetles have chewed holes in the leaves and some of them are still there. The white coating is kaolin clay which I sprayed to deter them. Before applying the clay I had steeped it with garlic and jalepeno pepper in a jar of water overnight. It is stinky clay. And its sticky consistency deters many insect pests. It certainly has not been 100% effective for me. But the fruit is forming.
That is a lot of trouble to go through for eggplant. Most of the vegetables I grow come with less trouble. So I have to call it by its French name. It would be eggplant if I just wanted a catch crop to keep the beetles off my potatoes and cucumbers and tomatoes. Eggplant would do that. It is the first choice of flee beetles here.
Lethal organic sprays exist, but I avoid them. I need pollinators when the flowers appear in order to get the fruit. Also, I saw what appeared to be an assassin bug on one of my eggp excuse me aubergine plants the other day. I don’t want to wipe out the predators.
So I have aubergine coming. Future meals of baba ganoush, ratatouille, vegetable curry, and aubergine parmagiana may be possible. That makes the battle worth fighting.