Insects

Cucumber Beetles

Cucumber Beetles
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The various species of these 1/4 inch long beetles are yellowish green, with black spots or stripes. The slim, white larvae, about 1/2 inch long, are dark at both ends. Larvae feed on roots; adults-the more destructive stage-chew aboveground plant parts.

Target: Roots of corn, other grasses, legumes (larvae); many vegetables, especially cucurbits, and flowers (adults).

Damage: Large, roughly oval holes are chewed in leaves and flowers. As they feed, the beetles can spread bacterial wilt and a mosaic virus.

Life cycle: When the weather warms in spring, beetles lay eggs beneath host plants, either at plant bases or in cracks in the soil. Larvae burrow into the soil and feed on roots, then pupate. Adults overwinter in debris. There are one to four generations a year.

Notes: Try to catch infestations early; killing the beetles won’t save your crop if the pests have already infected it with a disease.