Cucumber Beetle is Certainly No Lady(bug)

Posted on July 19, 2012 by Demo Garden No Comments
Have any of your plants been looking like this yet this summer?:

We have diagnosed one of our major pest issues for the summer as the dreaded Cucumber Beetle. These little monsters have been terrorizing our bean plants for a couple of weeks now, leaving them looking like the holy mess you can see above. The cucumber beetle comes in a variety of different designs, a few of which have been clearly seen at the RTCO Demo Garden (and one not so clearly) in the photograph below.
Doing an internet search for remedies for the cucumber beetle can show you a variety of pictures, and a variety of ways to handle the pests. Luckily, our squash and other melon-type vegetables were already on their way to ripening by the time these guys showed up. Even though their name suggests they feast primarily on varieties of cucurbits, but they apparently love eating green beans as well.
I have been assured that even though they hurt the plants’ leaves cosmetically, they will not necessarily hinder the growth of the actual vegetables. However, if they eat up too great of a percentage of your plants they will greatly hamper your yield, so it is important to deal with them, especially if your plants are young.
There are a lot of poisonous suggestions online that not only will potentially hurt your bean plants, but could also hurt other beneficial bugs in your garden. Perhaps what is considered the best remedy for these “Cuke Beetles” is to head out to the garden early in the morning with a small bucket or cup of soapy water, and pick and knock the mean lil’ fellers off of their feast and into some suds.
Have you tried any other remedies for these tough guys? Drop us some advice in the comments section!

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