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Cucumber beetles, anyone?

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Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  trustingHim on 5/15/2010, 11:20 am

I have had lots of spotted cucumber beetles in my garden. Has anyone else had trouble with these? They're easy enough to catch and kill, but I'd like to find a way to get rid of them without having to use alot of chemicals. They've done some pretty significant damage to one of my beds. They seem to like pretty much anything- not just cucumbers.


Here is a link to info and an image of a cucumber beetle. The kind I have are spotted.
http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Cucurbit_Beetles.htm

According to the article, braconid wasps can be useful. Luckily I found some yesterday, so maybe they will help out.

Any suggestions? I'd love to hear them!
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Re: Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  Chopper on 5/15/2010, 2:51 pm

With companion planting you will know pretty quickly if they work: marigolds,
radishes and geraniums are all supposed to deter the cuke beetle. Marigold plants are widely available in garden stores now. Radish spray? Not sure.

Also found this at http://organicgardenpests.com/striped-cucumber-beetle/:
Straw mulch keeps adults from walking between plants.
Braconid wasps, nematodes, and soldier beetles consume the cucumber beetle.

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Re: Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  trustingHim on 5/15/2010, 6:22 pm

Thank you for the advice. I have a marigold that was also eaten pretty badly. It hasn't bloomed yet, because I started it from seed directly in the bed. I was surprised to see holes in the leaves. I thought that they were pretty good at repelling most pests. I think that I read that some types of marigolds will not deter as much. Maybe mine is one of the few...

I just hope that those wasps get to work soon!

It's too bad that the pretty bugs like the cucumber beetle can do such ugly work.
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Re: Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/15/2010, 6:48 pm

Neem oil will work, but it will also repel benefical insects like ladybugs. But if they are doing significant damage you might want to give it a try. Thankfully I haven't seen any yet this year.

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Re: Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  trustingHim on 5/15/2010, 6:53 pm

You know, I've heard the praises of Neem oil sung so often, I don't know why I haven't made that purchase by now. Is it pretty widely available? Is there a specific brand name I should look for?
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Re: Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  aliciazim on 6/15/2010, 8:47 pm

I remember reading a reply to a post to get rid of some type of pest on leaves that we should mix the neem oil with Ivory liquid??

If this is true, (a) I need to know where to find this neem oil, and (b) the ratio of each.

Sadly, something is eating my cuke leaves and making them holy (and not in a good way!).

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Re: Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 6/16/2010, 3:57 pm

I ordered Green Light Neem oil concentrate from Amazon, but I'm sure it's available anywhere plants are sold in larger towns. Last year I purchased a product labelled as the fungicide and it turned out to be Neem oil but diluted ready for use. I haven't added dish soap to mine, but it surely wouldn't hurt to do so.

Do be careful as it will also kill beneficials. I spray it late in the afternoon after the bees have stopped working.

BTW, I have the striped cuke beetles -- found a bunch over the weekend and zapped them with Neem. I just got back into town from a short trip, so haven't checked if they or their siblings are still around.

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First beetle

Post  ander217 on 6/16/2010, 8:47 pm

I just saw my first spotted cucumber beetle of the season today on my muskmelon plants.

My garden is completely buggy this year with aphids, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, Mexican bean beetles, tomato fruitworms, flea beetles, stinkbugs, cutworms, cucumber beetles and cabbage worms. (The hornworms can't be far behind.)The good news is I also found ladybugs, soldier beetles, lacewings, ground beetles, and robber flies. I'm hoping if I remain patient things will eventually balance out, except for the blankety-blank squash bugs and potato beetles which require daily hand squishing.
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Re: Cucumber beetles, anyone?

Post  aliciazim on 6/17/2010, 8:17 am

Must one be an entomologist to garden effectively?? Good golly! I mean, I see "stuff" out there, but who can know all those bugs?? I would like to know what the irridescent little green flies are though... And I can't SEE anything other than those funky flies. Unless it's big enough, I can't tell if it's soil or a bug. Does someone have a list with pix next to each parasite?

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Bugs

Post  ander217 on 6/17/2010, 8:29 am

I learned about bugs the usual way - when I notice a plant is being eaten I find out what is eating it, then look up that bug in a manual or on the 'net to find out how to control it. (Now I can post questions to this forum, too.) I have an old Rodale bug identification handbook that has proven invaluable to me.

After you've gardened a few years, you learn what visits your garden every year - we always expect Colorado potato beetles on the potatoes, squash bugs on the squash, tomato hornworms on the tomatoes, flea beetles on the eggplants, cabbage worms on the cole crops, etc. Blister beetles always make an appearance in late summer, too.

Some years we have lots of bugs, other years we only have a few. This is one of the worst years for them I've ever seen, and I've gardened most of my 55 years.

Oh, and add grasshoppers to my previous list of invaders. The little ones are already eating holes in plants - I shudder to think what they'll do as adults.
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