Gardening Vivian | 31 Oct 2010 06:39 pm

Cucumber Beetles – A Garden Pest

The cucumber beetle can be a real problem in your garden. There are organic methods that can be used to control them before they attacking and destroying your garden.

Cucumber beetles are about 1/4 inch in length and are yellowish-green in color with either black spots or black strips and a black head. It’s larvae is 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in length, white to beige in color with a brown head and a brown spot on it’s tail end.

The larvae attacks plants early in the season from the first two to six weeks. Some of the plants that they will attack are asparagus, beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, potatoes, tomatoes and melons. There are over two hundred and fifty plants from twenty nine families of plants that the cucumber beetle will attack, including flower and ornamental plants.

The adult cucumber beetle transmits bacterial mosaic and wilts. It is overwintered in the intestines of the beetle and when they start to feed again in the spring the disease gets transmitted to the plants.

Cucumber beetles like shade. It is important to check the underside if leaves to detect the presents of them and there eggs.

Mulching plants with organic matter to create an environment to attract arthropods and other beneficial insects to defend against the cucumber beetle.

Predators that are beneficial in the control of cucumber beetles are lacewings and ladybugs. They eat the eggs of the cucumber beetle. Other predators that help control the cucumber beetle are tachinid flies, soldier beetles, parasitic nematodes and braconid wasps.

Bats are also a great defense against cucumber beetles and other insects.

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