How to Spot, Prevent, and Get Rid of Cucumber Beetles in Your Garden
Cucumber beetles are one of the most frustrating pests as they feed your plants at all ends. They eat everything from roots to fruits, and they carry many diseases that have the potential to kill your plants. This is a double whammy.
Getting rid of these pests is a little easier than other pests because insecticides are effective against them, but this does not mean that you want to use them immediately. Prevention measures and biological treatments are also useful in controlling populations.
If you want to know about their life cycle and how to get rid of cucumber beetle, keep reading.
What are Cucumber Beetles?
Cucumber beetles are small insects that like to chew through the stem of transplanting and eat holes in your entire plants. Many different types live throughout the United States, and they feed on various plants.
For example, the striped cucumber beetle feeds entirely on cucumber plants, such as cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and watermelons. Spotted cucumber beetles feed on other plants as well as cucumbers. It is possible that you tell them differently what they eat in your garden, but they also have different markings and colors.
These small pests cause a lot of damage to your plants from roots to fruits. They also spread bacterial diseases and viruses from plant to plant, such as:
- Fusarium wilt
- Mosaic virus
- Musclemone necrotic spot virus
- Cure bacterial wilt
How to identify cucumber beetle
Since there are many different varieties of cucumber beetles, it is important to remember that their color and marking may be different.
There are some recognizable markers here.
Striped Cucumber Beetle
- 1/4 inch tall as an adult
- Yellow and black striped belly
- Dark Head and Antenna
Spotted Cucumber Beetle
- 1/4 inch as an adult
- 12 dark spots on yellow belly
- Worm-like larvae that are white with a black head
These pests lay clusters of eggs under or above tattered, thick soil. Look for clusters of yellow to orange, oval-shaped eggs on your soil. However, spotted beetles prefer to lay eggs around the base of their plants, preferring to lay eggs in wet, coarse soil and striped beetles.
Cucumber Beetle Lifecycle
From mid-April to early June, the beetles begin to leave their hibernating sites, feeding on seedlings as soon as they emerge. They are heavy eaters, so they start chewing once. Then, the larvae feed on the roots of the plants until small pits become larger than the soil.
As of August and September, cucumber beetles are in adult state. At this point, they feed on the entire plant, including vine and fruit. Nothing is safe when you are an adult.
It is important to note that cucumbers overwinter beetles weeds, garden debris, and wooded areas around your garden. If they are carrying diseases, the diseases also become more frequent, and the pests may spread them next spring.
Symptoms of a cucumber beetle infection
Identifying the damage from these pests is a little easier than identifying them in the garden. The larvae feed on the cucumber roots, but the real damage occurs when adults begin feeding on the entire plant. They eat leaves, stems, vines and fruits, inhibiting plant growth.
They also feed on flowers, and this dramatically reduces fruit production. Most of the time, these pests will not be the only thing that kills your plants; They also spread diseases with them.
So, some symptoms of cucumber beetle infection include:
- Holes in the stem and leaves
- Yellowing and Scorching Leaves
- Decrease in fruit production
- Scars, marks and holes in fruit and flowers
How to stop cucumber beetle in your garden
The best defense against cucumber beetles (and any insect) is to prevent them from taking your garden from the start. Prevention is much easier than getting rid of pests once and starting breeding faster.
Try these healthy gardening practices to prevent these tough pests from taking over your garden.
1. in the fall
Filling your garden in the Gir exposes any cucumber beetles hidden in the soil to eliminate the harsh conditions encountered. Make sure you fall late when it is cold and close to winter-like temperatures. The population will be reduced by next year. In addition, remove any remaining debris of the garden from the fall crop.
2. Rotate the crops
It is best to rotate crops so that cucumbers (cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, watermelons, or oysters) are not in the same soil after one year. Remember, cucumber beetles prefer cucumber crops like cucumbers and zucchini, so if you move your location each gardening season, they are less likely to travel.
3. Plant trap crops
You may have to abandon some of your plants for beetles, but planting some fungi varieties in the periphery of your garden prevents insects from migrating to the harvested plants you want to keep. Losing two or three plants is better than losing them all. If the plants become infected, take them out of the garden and burn them. Do not put them in your compost.
4. Plant Lat
If your area is regularly infested with cucumber pests, a simple trick is to plant later than normal. Wait until the beetles come out of the soil and then plant in your garden.
Cucumber beetles are good at finding delicate seedlings in your garden when they come out of hibernation. If they are not there during emergence, they think that you do not have the plants they want to eat, and they move to the next garden to terrorize.
5. Partner Plant
Another trick that you can use is companion planting. Put flowers in your botanical garden from the plants you want to keep. Insect planting is a smart method to use throughout your garden to keep pests away.
Radish, tansy, and nasturtium are all known to repel cucumber beetles. Plant these plants between and around your cucurbits.
6. Regularly inspect the plants
It is easiest to get rid of pests when you catch them early. Look at your sprout for any signs of damage. Check your plants for chewed leaves, petals and fruits. Monitoring closely will allow you to take quick steps.
7. Use Row Covers
In order to prevent any incoming beetles reaching your plants in the spring, apply row cover over your plants in the spring. Just remember that when flowers are made to allow for pollination, you will need to remove the cover.
You can also pollinate your plants by hand and leave them in place the whole time. Learn more about the row cover in our guide.
How to get rid of cucumber beetle in your garden
After identifying cucumber beetles in your garden, you have to get rid of them. They will continue to grow in population and will slowly kill your plants. It is not understandable to let them live without getting rid of a cucumber beetle infection.
Here are some suggestions.
1. Use Sticky Trap
One of the first attempts is to plant yellow sticky nets throughout your garden. As the insects move from plant to plant, these traps catch them and other insects. Also, they are so cheap; A box of 10 nets costs less than $ 3. It is worth trying.
2. Raise hands or use a small vacuum
Next, try to remove the pests from the plants. They are difficult to hold by hand, so if you want to try, wear yellow gloves that are coated in petroleum jelly to help maintain the grip of these pests. Some people knock on them waiting for cardboard and grab them from there.
If you don’t want to raise your hand, try using a small hand vacuum to suck the beetle.
3. Release beneficial pests
Leaving natural predators in your garden is another natural way to get rid of these pests without spraying any harmful chemicals in your garden. Beneficial insects like brocid wasp, nematode and soldier beetle take care of cucumber beetles for you.
4. Use Pesticides
Gardeners can also use pesticides to control cucumber beetles, but remember that the use of toxic chemicals in your garden also kills natural predators and beneficial insects. The last attempt should be to save your plants from destruction.
Using pesticides to get rid of cucumber beetles is a multi-step process because you have to get rid of both adults and larvae, or the infection will continue. Spray the plants for two to three weeks in mid-spring when you notice that the pests grow out of the soil.
Then, you should treat the plants early in the summer to kill cucumber beetle larvae. In late summer, spray again to kill any adults you may have missed spray with larvae.
Cucumber beetles are a hopeless insect because they attack plants on all sides and bring diseases. Thankfully, these pests are easy to stop, and there are many ways to get rid of them before they kill your plants.
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