This year we have a moderate stripped and spotted cucumber beetle
infestation. They are voracious, and devestate small plants, especially
beans. I've used insecticidal soap, but it only kills the ones it comes in
contact with. I tried some canola based spray, but it likewise only kills
the ones it comes in contact with. I pinch them when I see them, but they
are everywhere. I used Bug-B-Gone, which coats the leaves with poison, and
that worked good but you have to wonder where the poison residues are going.
Also, with the warm weather we have been having, my garden has exploded into
a jungle, and it's just not feasible to use any kind of toxic spray on all
of the things I have that they like to eat. They eat sunflowers, beans,
squash, okra, cucumbers, they especially love young pumpkin plants, and
tomatillos, and I have a lot of all of those. How else can these be safely
controlled on such a large scale?
"Ook" <Ook Don't send me any freakin' spam at zootal dot com delete the
Don't send me any freakin' spam> wrote in message
I'm not sure if cucumber beetles are tougher gangsters than Japanese
beetles, but last year, I got rid of the latter using garlic & cayenne
spray, home made. One day, the Japanese beetles were decimating my grape
vines. The next day, they were gone. Never saw them again. I did not
research their life cycle, so I can't say whether they would've been gone
without my spraying. Just reporting what I saw.
Hand picking is a good start, I know they like to drop when a shadow
passes over. Try passing a flame from a small propane torch over them
about enough to singe the hairs on your forearm will singe the
antennae off of them and stop them eating and breeding. You might
scorch a leaf until you get the hang of it but it does work.
The IPM folks use turks turban squash to monitor for them as they
prefer it, and once they find them they begin control methods.
If you want to experiment grind up a bunch of them in a blender and
make a spray containing their juices and pathogens.
It was cucumber beetles that made me stop using insecticides in my
garden. I had cucumber beetles so bad they were eating the silk on my
corn. I waited until close to sundown so that I wouldn't spray any bees
and covered the whole garden in Sevin. The next morning all the cucumber
beetles were dead, along with lady bugs and just about anything else
that got caught in my fumigation.
After vowing never to do that again, I stumbled across a way to get
cucumbers without the beetles. It isn't something that you can try right
away though. My ex-wife's grandparents lived three doors away from us.
They also had a garden, and I would go down and help them out every few
days. I noticed one day that while I had cucumber beetles on my plants,
they had none. I don't know what the difference was, but over a space of
maybe 100 yards, there were no beetles to be found on their cucumbers.
So I quit growing them in my garden and grew extra in theirs.
Check with your neighbors. Maybe someone is growing cucumbers without
beetles. If so, see what they have problems growing. Maybe you can grow
a bit extra of what they can't in trade for them growing extra cucumbers
for you. At the very least, you will have made a new friend who has
something in common with you...gardening.
That is a problem here - my daughters released a bag of ladybugs a while
back, and we have ladybugs *everywhere*. Too bad they don't eat the beetles!
So, if I sterilized the garden, they would never forgive me. My nine year
old will stop everything to rescue a ladybug from the sidewalk or swimming
What a great post. Someone who learned from his/her mistake and
came up with a terrific solution that benefits all, including the
insects! Thanks for letting us know of your experience, JP.
( you made my day)
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