Nothing is more terrifying and annoying than finding that tiny spotted beetle eating all your crops! Cucumber beetles can be a nuisance in any garden, but you don’t have to put up with them to grow your cucumbers, squash, and other cucurbits.
Here are effective ways to help prevent them from showing up in your garden and what to do if they’re already there.
Striped cucumber beetles are most interested in cucurbits. These include watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers, and squash.
Spotted cucumber beetles do feed on cucurbits but can also feed on other plants too. Both beetles can spread bacterial diseases and viruses from plant to plant. This could be something like bacterial wilt or even mosaic virus.
These beetles leave their hibernation during mid-April and early June and start feeding on seedlings when they emerge, leading them to death.
They mature in late summer and will feed again on leaves, vines, and the fruits of anything that survived the first attack. These marks are deep in the rind and make the plant useless.
There are several ways to control your cucumber beetle situation and get rid of them. First, start by inspecting any newly planted cucurbit plants.
Cover your seedlings with row covers, just make sure to remove them during blossoming for several hours each day to allow ample time for pollination.
Many insecticides won’t work on cucumber beetles. However, they have yellow sticky traps that can catch them and other pests.
Does Baking Soda Kill Cucumber Beetles?
It can, but you must be careful in how you use it, and it has to be done a certain way. There are ways that you can use it to work effectively but follow directions so that you don’t harm your plants.
Neem oil for cucumber beetles is another way to get rid of them! Do your research to find out how to use it and make it work. This is toxic to bees, so you must be careful if you decide to use it.
You can also use a sticky cucumber beetle trap as well as an option.
If you see a cucumber beetle in your garden, knock them on the ground so that you can then catch them. Use a cardboard piece and place it under the plant.
You can also use a handheld vacuum. They are hard to pick up by hand, so this is the best way to capture them.
Tilling your garden in the late fall will expose any cucumber beetles hiding due to harsh weather conditions. This will also serve to reduce their population of them in the following year. Remove any debris from your fall harvest and reduce overwintering in the habitat.
Transplanting young plants instead of direct seeding can protect vulnerable plants from cucumber beetle damage. Cleaning up any litter and weeds around and in your garden is one of the best ways to prevent any bugs from hibernating.
Dealing with bugs in your garden can be a hassle, but hopefully, this post has shown you that cucumber beetles don’t have to ruin your garden! With a few simple steps, you can start cultivating a bug-free garden!