My latest cucumber beetle traps

anney(Georgia 8)June 30, 2008

Well, this year I decided to try clove oil as an attractant for female cucmber beetles.

I needed five traps, so I used five Sobe tea glass bottles as my clove oil & Sevin containers. You can't use plastic with clove oil -- it melts plastic!

I carefully measured the amount of water one bottle would hold when laid on its side and multiplied by five. It ended up being a little over three cups of water. I mixed that water with the recommended amount of liquid Sevin concentrate and added about a half teaspoon of clove oil per bottle or 2 & 1/2 teaspoons total.

Then I equally apportioned this poison stew among the five bottles.

In the garden I had five areas I think the cuke beetles will be attracted to (melons, squash, & cukes) and that's where I laid a bottle on its side with the mixture in it. I made sure the open mouth of the bottle was under a large leaf to slow evaporation and keep out the rain.

Eugenol oil attracts female cucumber beetles, and clove & allspice oils are comprised of about 90% of this attractant. These oils don't attract any other insect, so it's a safe bait.

The same kind of trap can be devised using tayuya powder (available over the internet), which attracts male & female cucumber beetles and no other insects.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey, I can't wait to hear your results on this. I squished 4 of them today, very exciting. It was a very cool morning and they were snoozing on the INSIDE surface of a makeshift row cover. Now they are snoozing very very deeply indeed. Maureen

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 5:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jimster(z7a MA)

Anney, your work on this trap project has been impressive. I, and a lot of other gardeners are going to be grateful to you when we finally implement your ideas.

Do you have any suggestions about which attractant to use considering price and liklihood of local availability? This information must be in previous posts, but I'm having a little difficulty finding it.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 5:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
anney(Georgia 8)


I hope you don't have a vegetable-threatening infestation of cuke beetles! They can really be awful.


I ordered the clove oil this spring and the tayuya powder last spring, both from the internet. The clove oil is much easier to find locally in health food stores, but every place I contacted charged an awful lot for a tiny bottle. So I ended up ordering it much more cheaply online.

I recall one woman in our discussion last year saying that she'd put clove oil with Sevin in a plastic cup and the next morning there was no bottom in the cup! Other people were using felt strips dipped in clove oil/Sevin suspended inside an upside down cup, so she was the only one who mentioned that result. Just recently I read that clove oil emulsifies plastic -- wish I'd known that then. She was really bewildered and disgusted.

Would you believe that discussion was referred to on another site? Here's the quote, which unfortunately contains wrong information: Whiteflies are a vector for Tomato Yellow Leaf Virus. Several people on GardenWeb have experimented with cups of liquid Sevin bainted with clove oil or tayuya root powder to control cucumber beetle, and recommend it for whitefly also.

We NEVER discussed these traps as being effective for whiteflies. (I hate for people to be led astray!)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Anney! How are your traps doing? Maureen

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bumping this up - hope you're ok Anney! I'd also like to know how well the traps worked. Cuke beetles have been the worst pest this year by far on the veggies (Japanese Beetles are a close second on other plants). Any success using the clove oil?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
anney(Georgia 8)


The traps must be working -- I have seen only two cucumber beetles this year. But hundreds of squash bugs, which I HATE and have found no organic way to kill them!


I used both clove oil and the tayuya powder as the bait and put out five bottles each of the poison stew on their sides, thought I'd cover all bases. I tuck the open end of the bottles under large leaves and keep a general lookout for deteriorating leaves and move them if necessary.

From what I could tell of the posts last year, both baits work equally well, and my use of both of them limits any conclusion I personally might make about the best one.

But I do know they're working for me. I have cukes in one place, melons way down at the end of that trellised row, and squash two rows over from them. They don't seem to bother my beans, though I know they can be a host plant for these pests.

Here's a full list: Vegetable crops damaged include cucumber, squash, beet, bean, pea, sweet potato, okra, corn, lettuce, onion, and various cabbages. Bean and soybean are especially favored (Chittenden 1912, Saba 1970).

Except for nematodes, the natural enemies of banded cucumber beetle are poorly known. The mermithid nematode Filipjevimermis leipsandra affects this species, and natural infection levels in South Carolina were reported to be in the range of 20 to 40 percent from May through October. Ants have been shown to be important egg predators in the tropics, and likely are important elsewhere.

I didn't know ants might be egg-predators until I read the link above, so I suppose that's good reason not to destroy them.

Do try the clove oil and Sevin to see if the beetle numbers go down. This is usually the heaviest infestation time, and I think it's impossible to keep their numbers small by hand-killing them. If it doesn't work for you, you can always mix the clove oil with a little olive oil and use it for toothaches or to un-itch mosquito bites, as well as in cooking! It's anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Annie, I'll get me some clove oil for next year as the cuke beetles seem particularly interested in my early melon transplants which does put a hurting on them before they have a chance to vine out. Some plants tend to die of sudden wilt which could be spread from infected cuke beetles. At any rate the cuke beetles munch the life outta them and other emerging seedlings like late squash, pumpkins, and of course cucumbers. The larvae tend to munch on corn roots as well.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've followed these thread for cucumber beetle traps and now have tayuya root powder to use. I'm anxious to put a dent in the very active population of cucumber beetles in my garden plot.

I have a lot of cucurbits, but I find the damage most objectionable on my Fortex pole beans.

My problem is that in the community garden I use I am not allowed to use Sevin or non-organic approved pesticides.

Does anyone have knowledge of trying Pyrethrin or Rotenone for the traps? I'm worried that they don't stay active long enough to be effectively used in a trap.

How about home-made sticky traps?

I tried making a sticky trap with tayuya powder in the bottom of a styrefoam cup with the sides coated with Tanglefoot. In a week it has caught 2 beetles which are both dead in bottom (not stuck to the tanglefoot).

I'm wondering if the smell of the tanglefoot is masking the tayuya root.

The powder is mostly dry but I wet a little of it with water. I'm wondering what is the best way to get the scent airborn.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am curious as to whether the clove oil in soapy water would work? When I go Japanese beetle hunting among my pole beans I also get as many cucumber beetles as I can. I try to knock them into cups of soapy water. But if i left bottles of soapy water with some clove oil (or even cloves/ground cloves, wonder if that would work?) I have a lot of cucumber beetles, they are almost impossible to control.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
anney(Georgia 8)


You can try it and see if the beetles fall into the water and drown. If you use Sevin along with the bait, they eat both and are killed by the Sevin. It's the most reliable organic way I've found of handling the problem, and handpicking and killing any you see helps, too.

Don't get me wrong. Sevin is not organic. But the way it's used in a trap doesn't involve putting it on your plants or in the ground.

A commercial spray product, Adios, using a cucumber beetle bait and Sevin was developed in 1994 by the Micro-Flo Company and was enthusiastically written up on several research sites exploring controls for the beetles. However, its production was cancelled with "absence of market" listed as the reason.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 5:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
anney(Georgia 8)


Sorry, I jumped right over your post!

I have no idea how long rotenone/pyrethrin lasts when exposed to air, but it is certainly recommended as a cucumber beetle-killer. Try it and let us know if it works in combination with the tayuya.

I haven't set up a trap using the strips myself, so maybe somebody has and can comment on them.



I'd use ground up cloves in a pinch, but I'm sure the clove oil would be a much more effective bait.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

anney, thanks for your replies! I don't have clove oil, I do have ground cloves and whole cloves. I'm going to try it and see what happens. What's the worst that can happen? I'd use Sevin but again, I don't have any. I'd rather not buy it if I don't have to, I seldom spray for anything. Except aphids, and then I use soapy water. I've been very fortunate with insects, we have a lot of birds and they help with the insect population more than I could have imagined.

Thanks again, anney, I learn so much from these forums!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had good success adding a few drops of clove oil to a cotton ball and sticking it to the centre of one of the larger yellow sticky cards and the cucumber beetles seem to really be attracted to it

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 11:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wondering if the mixture with either bait listed below with Sevin (Carbaryl) ONLY attrack and kill beetles for sure because Sevin does kills beneficial insect such as honeybees.

baits: clove oil -OR- tayuya (rain forest root which I'm wondering if harvested ethically) attract the beetles. Correct?

Thank you for any feedback. I have a serious infestation.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 1:52AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
what varieties of watermelons are you growing?
what varieties of watermelons are you growing?
Radish in Miami
I grow mostly tomatoes, but once in a while I plant...
Woody Parsnips
What causes parsnips to develop wrinkly skin and woody...
hand pollinate broccolini?
Thanks to you guys, I realized that I bought Broccoli...
NewTXGardener (8a Dallas)
Plastic hardware cloth
How easily can critters chew through it?
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™