||Cucumber Beetles - Acalymma &
Slide Series, www.ipmimages.org www.ipmimages.org
DESCRIPTION: There are two main species of cucumber beetles in our area: Striped and Spotted. Striped cucumber beetle ( Acalymma vittatum)adults are 1/5 inch long, yellow, and have a black stripe. Spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata)adults are about the same size, but are greenish with twelve spots on their back.
LIFE CYCLE: Cucumber beetles overwinter as pupae in woody, weedy areas. They emerge in the spring. Adults lay eggs at the base of host plants; larvae hatch and feed on roots in the soil for about 1 month. There may be two generations per season.
CONTROLS: It is important to control these pests because they can be carriers of bacterial wilt disease.
Cultural: Grow resistant varieties, when possible.
Traps: Unbaited yellow sticky traps and traps baited with volatile cucurbit floral extracts, known as TIC (trimethoxybenzene, indole, and trans-cinnamaldehyde) have been shown to trap cucumber beetles. You can make a similar product yourself: Save dried squash fruits. Powder them in the food processor. Bait your own yellow sticky traps with the powder.
Mechanical: Floating row covers are effective in controlling beetle access to your plants. Remove covers, however, when plants are flowering so that good pollination may occur.
Biological: Ground beetles and spiders have been reported to reduce densities of striped cucumber beetles. In fact, spiders increased cucumber yield by 25% in a study at the University of Kentucky. Mulch plants with straw to encourage ground beetles and spiders.
Chemical: Adios, a special formulation of Carbaryl, is effective on cucumber beetles and is less toxic than normal Carbaryl formulations. However Adios is difficult to obtain. Rotenone is another less effective option.