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Nom-nom, chomp-chomp...

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Nom-nom, chomp-chomp...

Post  Weedless_ on 8/16/2010, 2:00 pm

Yeah, the unfortunate side effect of the gardening bliss is - you can't leave your garden for a few days without coming back to some natural disaster.
We have a cucumber beetle infestation.
I have NEVER seen any beetles there, but now apparently they all hatched and populated my cukes, melons, and squash. As if squash vine borer wasn't enough drama. Now every fruit has a tenant in it and there is slimy frass everywhere, coming out of every one of them.
Last week, we picked a ton of fruit that was nice, clean and tasty. This week, I was gone for 5 days, and here we are.
So the question now is - what do I do when we already have larvae, pupae, and all in between? Will rotenone still work on that? Or I should write all my cucurbitae off as dead?
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Re: Nom-nom, chomp-chomp...

Post  Weedless_ on 8/16/2010, 2:31 pm

Stand corrected here, poked around the internet a bit more. those are PICKLE worm, not cucumber beetle. Don't know what's worse.
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Re: Nom-nom, chomp-chomp...

Post  camprn on 8/16/2010, 2:35 pm

EEEEEEW! I am so sorry I have nothing to offer. Let us know how it goes. Can you post a photo of your bugs/worms?
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Re: Nom-nom, chomp-chomp...

Post  Weedless_ on 8/16/2010, 3:16 pm

Sharing the info i have so far:
1. I shouldn't feel bad about not finding them before, because they are night flyers, and very hard to prevent and detect early. Row covers work in a pattern cover-for-the-night-open-for-the-day, to keep pollination going, but don't help in FL and TX, where those buggers overwinter and come from underground.

2. There are no organic pesticides that work on them. Period.

3. Bonide "Eight" claims to work, which I will try. They are relatively safe.

4. Best prevention is to plant and harvest cucurbitae early, so that they peak and produce before the infestations begin.

5. Neem derived products have limited success as preventative.

6. Yellow traps, trap crops, etc, don't work.

7. Some people claim bagging your fruit with plastic or paper bags works well, but who in the world will be bagging every cuke? Not me, for sure.

8. Their favorite is blooms, not fruit, so if you manage to kill them while they are eating blooms, your fruit may still fly under the radar.

9. Upside? They only like cucurbitae (squash, cucumber, melon, pumpkin), and not watermelons, so my watermelon, eggplant and tomatoes will survive.
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