Found one dead cucumber beetle

allhailerisJune 22, 2012

Will there be more? This was the first one I've ever seen, and it was dead stuck to the foliage of the corn stalk. It was a yellow beetle with spots. My cucumber looks good (to me) right now, no flowers yet. It seems a lot of people went out at night and just hunted them down and killed them to keep the population down. I'll be going out there this weekend a few times to see what I can find.

How likely is it to get an infestation if I've seen one? Will lots of mulch really help? Is neem the best non-toxic thing to apply to deter them?

Wondering how worried I should be.

Something has been muching on the green beans planted right next to them, but I'm guessing snails since that seems to be our biggest pest that I have to constantly fight.

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Cucumber beetles were eating my green beans :(

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:37PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

With pretty much any bugs, where there is one, there are many more. Infestation, I don't know... But keep your eyes open for them.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 8:24PM
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I went out this weekend a few times looking for critters and saw pretty much none other than harmless flies and some little white and brown moth kind of bugs (I've been watching these, don't see them leaving damage, can't find them on a pest list, not corn worm moths).

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 1:30PM
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I first spotted the spotted cucumber beetles on my beans... sprayed with sevin dust spray and a week later found a ton of the striped ones on my cumbers. I sprayed again. Last night went out and there were a bunch of dead ones on the cumcumber plants...

I'm just going to have to spray once a week I guess to keep them at bay... but I'm talking 5-10 on each PLANT. They're bad here...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 1:45PM
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I am reaching infestation proportions here in southern Ontario. They have assaulted the melons, zucchini and the pumpkins. Surprisingly, they don't seem to be interested in the watermelons, butternut squash or black zucchini (just the yellow).

They hide and they are fast. Furthermore, they also hang out in the weeds around the cucurbits so they may be in places you had not thought of. We have had a cold snap in the weather here and it seems to slow their movement so they are easier to catch and squash. The easiest way to catch them is to go out first thing in the morning when it is still cool and start brushing the plants with your hands. When they scatter out from underneath, start grabbing and squashing.

As for sevin, it may be effective, but escalation to that level of chemical warfare is a personal choice. Just remember that bees and pollinators will be showing up at some point to polinate the flowers.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:19AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Seeing 1 bug is no indication of anything much less an infestation. Neither is seeing 100 bugs. And "5-10 bugs on each plant" can easily be hand squished rather than killing 3x as many beneficials just in case 'something' might come back. And holes in leaves don't kill plants.

Save the Sevin dust for when there is a real problem, not a maybe/might problem. Better yet use the liquid since it can't be transported by bees back to the whole hive like the dust can.

Or you can just nuke the whole garden and forget about it.

Bugs and gardening go hand-in-hand and 95% of the bugs in the average garden are beneficials or at worse neutrals. So if you panic at every bug then maybe gardening isn't for you.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:50AM
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I did use the liquid, mixed it with water...
I realize bugs and gardening go hand in hand, but also realize how much work and $$ goes into the garden and to see it quickly eaten away and the threat of wilt on the plants...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 2:25PM
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There is no way I'm using something that may be toxic on my plants. My daughter has autism and the littlest thing can cause major rages, so I'm not risking it. The bugs and birds can have them if natural-ish things can't take care of it. We did a bunch of mulching over the weekend, I thought I read that will help keep them out of the roots, but I planted enough that if I loose a plant or two it's not the end of the world. But so far so good, no damage (that I can see) to the cucumber plants.

I'm not freaking out (and I assume you were talking to the other person), just curious to know what to expect since I'm a newbie. I'll keep looking for them, but I have a billion other things to stress about. Thanks for the feedback everybody.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 3:05PM
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My theory is that whatever is killing the bugs (sevin) will eventually kill us.

I grow parthenocarpic cukes that can be covered all season -- Little Leaf, to be exact. I ordered double wide tulle and just keep 'em covered. Got a great crop last year.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 6:21PM
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I'm using an organic insecticide soap spray... I wont ever be willing to go into any harsher chemicals than that. I had the beetles then i spray and they seemed to go away (found one or two here and there for a couple of weeks) then this week I went out and there's quite a few on the leaves.... I guess I'll keep spraying and hope that doesnt kill the bees. I have 6 cucumber plants planted and only 3 cukes that are about 3-4 inches now growing, when usually by now id have many more so I guess they are doing some damage, but hopefully i'll still get something out of it.

Do they like pepper plants also? I'm noticing holes in my pepper plants and lots of bud drops...

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 12:07PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

It helps to know your friends and enemies in the garden. That knowing includes more than identification, but includes their habits.

I noticed how many birds I have around the yard and gardens. .....Bluejays, sparrows, robins an occasional Cardinal, Blackbirds, Finches, and occasional Woodpeckers. I don't know how much this affects the garden bugs. I do know that the Robins like my berries and the Blackbirds like to eat on my sweet corn. I put nylon footies on the first 2 plantings of sweetcorn for a few ears.
I saw a striped cucumber beetle out in the field, but none so far in the gardens. I saw 4 or 5 spotted cucumber beetles in the Hubbard squash over a quarter mile away from the home gardens. I understand that these are brought in on southern winds so I can't fully control those.
I have seen no squash bugs nor SVB. I saw 4 CPB early and 1 adult later and squished a few larva. I have seen 2 JBs so far.

For squash bugs...At the near end of the season the bugs will gather on the last remaining green leaves and defective fruits. Stomp them totally really, really works.

For striped cucumber beetles...The first batch [overwintering ones] may show up here about May 5 - 15th. It is difficult to catch these so I would spray Sevin on any cucurbit at that time if any showed up. The plants are not blooming then!! If you kill off the first batch, you may not have so many on the second batch about the first of July. If any showed up on the second batch, I would dispatch them carefully by lightly spraying on a few leaves at dusk.

For for them real early and squish them before they can lay eggs. They show up just after potato planting time and if you have any volunteer potato plants that are early, these are a good trap for the first ones to emerge.

I have sometimes been indunated by corn root worm beetles that likely emerged from neighboring corn fields. These usually show up on the last planting or two of sweet corn and can quickly ruin leaves and silks.

My thinking is to be preventive and not need insecticides..However, it seems to cause more trouble in the long run to be highly ridgid rather than "a stitch in time saves 900"

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:13PM
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Cucumber beetles are brought in by southern winds? I'd like that one confirmed, because it would explain my infestation this year. Normally, they aren't a huge issue up here in WI, but this year, they are aweful. Reaching in to cut off one zucchini makes dozens of them start flying around, and when I lift the zucchini off of the mulch, dozens more crawl all over. With the extreme heat and drought, due to constant weather from the south, I could see why they are here.

Anyways, my chances of getting pickles or cukes this year are looking slim, unless I do something drastic. My plants aren't even close to producing yet, minus the zucchini, and are being decimated. Has anyone ever used one of those fogger things? I ran across some pyrethrin fogger solution by Bonide that claims to be good for using in vegetable gardens, and is safe right up to harvest. It says it takes care of cucumber beetles on the label. I do realize it kills bees and such, so I'd most likely want to use it just before dark. Any thoughts?


    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:42PM
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The beetles themselves won't kill the crops, it's the bacterial wilt they carry that's the real problem.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:46PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Joe, It's the Spotted Cucumber Beetles that are blown in by southern breezes...not other kinds.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 1:58PM
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I've got plenty of those hanging out with the striped ones too.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Nothing seems to work. So I opened the spent flowers of squash and spray insecticidal soap inside (be careful to check if there are bees inside before spraying). And then I squeezed the beetles one or two at a time. There are at least 20 flowers to go through.

I also use row covers. The beetles fly towards the net and it is much easier to squeeze them with the net. The Allspice method with TangleFoot does not work for me. They do not land on the yellow sticky tape either.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:23PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

Leafhoppers are my main problem this year. Have a few spotted cuke beetles, and some Mexican bean beetles, but not so many that my thumb and first finger haven't been able to keep in check so far. The leafhoppers though, I hate them! They seem to especially love the sweet basil this year...

Anyone know of any beneficial biologicals I can apply early next season to help reduce their numbers early on?? I think it's too late this year as they all seem to be in the adult stage now...

Found one hornworm so far...carted him off the the edge of the yard and sat him down in the grass, stepped back and waited for about 1 minute and watched as he became lunch for one of the local American robins...sweet revenge lol

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:48PM
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