Effect of striped cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) foliar feeding on winter squash injury and yield. Cucumber beetles damage cucurbit crops in at least three ways. It occurs in the Americas, where its distribution extends from the United States to Colombia and Venezuela in South America. Figure 3. The striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) is a beetle of the family Chrysomelidae and a serious pest of cucurbit crops in both larval and adult stages. Available online at, Ellers-Kirk, C.D., S.J. More information on bacterial wilt can be found in this APSNet article on Bacterial Wilt and this Cornell Vegetable MD Online fact sheet on Cucumber Beetles, Corn Rootworms and Bacterial Wilt in Cucurbits. Another natural pesticide for cucumber beetles is Pyrethrum. Third, the straw mulch is food for springtails and other insects that eat decaying plant material; these decomposers are important non-pest prey for spiders, helping to further build spider numbers (Halaj and Wise, 2002). Lists of highly attractive cucurbits are presented in this ATTRA publication on Cucumber Beetles (fee may apply) , and a research project funded by the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program generated detailed recommendations for using this strategy in cucurbits. Striped cucumber beetles have black abdomens below, and pale colored legs with black "knees"; the western corn rootworm has a pale-colored abdomen and more uniformly dark legs. This also reduces the total time that cucurbit plants are in the field each season, providing less time for cucumber beetle densities to build and for disease symptoms to develop. Organic management of cucumber beetles in watermelon and muskmelon production. The striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum (Fabricius), is an important pest of cucurbit production in the eastern United States, where most comme Weekly mean percentage of Acalymma vittatum that were parasitized with either (A) Celatoria setosa, (B) Centistes diabroticae, or (C) Celatoria setosa and Cn. The African Black Beetle occurs mainly in Western Australia and the wetter coastal south-eastern regions up to South East Queensland. Pyrethrum is a naturally occurring broad-spectrum insecticide extracted from the dried flower heads of African chrysanthemums. A recent study searched for DNA of a cucumber beetle relative, the western corn rootworm, in the stomachs of predatory insects and spiders (Lundgren et al., 2009). The Western version is slightly larger. Cornell Cooperative Extension. Recent research indicates that the Blue Hubbard and buttercup varieties of Cucurbita maxima, and zucchini (C. pepo), are particularly attractive to cucumber beetles (Adler and Hazzard, 2009). Cucumber Beetles: Organic and Biorational Integrated Pest Management. 2008. Journal of Entomological Science 38: 439–448. 1995. Available online at: Smyth, R. R., and M. P. Hoffmann. Cucumber beetle larvae (immature forms) feed on the roots and bore into both roots and stems of cucumber plants. It is prized for its thin skin and minimal seeds. National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. 1995. Also, cucumber beetles avoid wolf spiders, and feed less when spiders are around even when the spiders do not actually kill the cucumber beetles (Snyder et al., 2001; Williams and Wise, 2003). Of course, market forces largely determine which cucurbits are planted, so variety selection will not be possible in many situations. Adults of the two species are easy to tell apart: the spotted cucumber beetle is somewhat larger and has dark black spots (Fig. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. Striped cucumber beetles are small pests about 7mm in length with a striking patterning on their backs (elytra). In perimeter cropping the main cucurbit crop is ringed by plantings of a different, highly attractive cucurbit variety. The adults first move into cucurbits in the spring and then throughout the summer, feeding on stems, foliage and flowers. You can report notifiable plant pests and diseases by one of the following methods: 1. The black stripes on the backs of striped cucumber beetles are more distinct and exend to the tip of the wings (Delahaut, 2010; Burkness and Hutchison, 2011). Like Armenian cucumbers, English cucumbers are best sliced and raw and are not suitable for pickling. 1998. Floating row covers provide the most reliable defense against cucumber beetles, when left in place until flowering begins (row covers must eventually be removed to allow bees and other pollinators to visit the flowers). It is important that straw mulch does not contain weed seeds and to make certain that it does not contain herbicide residues which can take years to fully break down. Hortscience 30: 1043–1045. Use extreme care when using any chemical remedies, and always follow label directions precisely. The adult spotted cucumber beetle is yellow, with twelve black spots on its back. They have distinct black spots or lengthwise stripes on their wings. Kaolin clay is reported to act by making cucurbit crops unattractive to cucumber beetles and because it gums up the beetles’ antennae and otherwise irritates them. Contrasting trophic cascades generated by a community of generalist predators. Damage: In spring, spotted cucumber beetles often can be seen on squash and cucumber seedlings, and then they disappear for a few weeks. Seedlings and small plants are most susceptible to cucumber beetle feeding damage and to bacterial wilt (Yao et al., 1996; Hoffmann et al., 2002, 2003). Remove and destroy (don't compost) plants infected with bacterial wilt immediately so that they don't attract more beetles to the area. 1998. Colleen Vanderlinden is a freelance writer and the author of Edible Gardening for the Midwest. Here we’ll look at home made organic pest control methods for the cucumber bug that are also effective for controlling common Australian vegetable sap sucking pests such as the Green Vegetable Bug as well as many other insect pests. Damage from cucumber beetles can devastate these plants, but with a little cucumber beetle control, you can keep this harmful pests from destroying your cucumber and cucurbit crops. Organic-approved insecticides have not always been found to be effective (see below), so cultural controls may be the best option for many organic farmers. 2A). Mulch the ground with straw, hay, plastic, or fabric to deter cucumber beetles from laying eggs in the ground near the plants; however, this will not eliminate them entirely. Despite their many similarities, there are some differences between striped and spotted cucumber beetles. Look under the pumpkin and at the top for signs of cucumber beetle damage. Vegetable MD Online. Luna, J. M., and L. Xue. Available online at: Bach, C. E. 1980. No doubt reflecting just how difficult cucumber beetles can be to control, particularly within organic farming systems, a few other more unusual approaches have been attempted with a degree of success. These are the striped cucumber beetle (Aclymma vittatum in the eastern U.S. and A. trivittatum in the west brown jumping beetle. The larvae are white grubs with brownish heads. appearance. Cucumber Beetle, Striped Guide [3] On corn silk Vegetable crops damaged by the cucumber beetle include cucumber, squash, beet, bean, pea, sweet potato, okra, corn, lettuce, onion, and various cabbages. Melon necrotic spot virus (MNSV) causes a serious disease of cucurbit crops, including cucumber, honeydew melon, rockmelon (also known as cantaloupe or muskmelon) and watermelon. They’ll eat up melons, tomatoes, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, and even bean plants! 3B) sometimes also feed on adult cucumber beetles (Snyder and Wise, 2001), as do other big predators such as bats (Whitaker, 1995). The entire life cycle of the insect is about eight weeks. The spotted cucumber beetle is very different, primarily laying its eggs on corn and other grasses such that the larvae of spotted cucumber beetles are not damaging to cucurbit crops. The life cycle of the cucumber beetle is that they overwinter in garden trash and leaf debris and then in spring they lay their eggs in the soil around the vegetable plants. 1a), whereas the striped cucumber beetle has long black stripes down its back (Fig. We use the terms parents and children to refer to the most … All notifiable plant pests and diseases must be reported within 1 working day. Both of the approaches below provide the satisfaction of instantly removing cucumber beetles. A hapless undergraduate worker demonstrates the use of the D-vac bug vacuum, which can be used to suck cucumber beetles out of a cucurbit crop. First, mulch might directly slow beetle movement from one plant to another (Cranshaw, 1998; Olkowski, 2000). Striped cucumber beetle. Relationship between cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) density and incidence of bacterial wilt of cucurbits. 1997. Ground beetles (Fig. Thus, damage by the larvae might not be obvious just from looking at aboveground foliage—unless one attempts to pull up a plant and finds little resistance due to roots having been eaten! Preventing an Infestation Because of risk of bacterial wilt disease, preventing a beetle attack is your best guarantee of a successful harvest. The slender white larvae (up to 1/3 inch long), have brown ends and injure plants by feeding on roots and underground … First, their feeding directly stunts plants and, when flowers are eaten, can reduce fruit set (Fig. These are the striped cucumber beetle (Aclymma vittatum in the eastern U.S. and A. trivittatum in the west) and the spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata). Sucking up beetles using a vacuum (e.g., D-vac suction sampler) or a reversed leaf-blower can be an effective way to remove adult beetles, in particular from trap crops where a limited area needs to be treated (Fig. Figure 2. Adult striped cucumber beetles are about ¼ inch long and have a yellow-and-black–striped abdomen and a dark-colored head and antennae. Striped cucumber beetle (top) and spotted cucumber beetle (bottom). Hoffmann, M. P., R. Ayyappath, and J. Gardner. Feeding and diet As the Snot Sea Cucumber burrows, contracting its body like a huge earthworm, tentacles surrounding its mouth sweep in sand and mud. (Available online at: Hoffmann, M. P., R. Ayyappath, and J. Gardner. Although it is often observed on cucurbit crops, it causes little or no damage to them, and so it is important to correctly identify the insect in your crop. Cucumber Beetle Biology In North American cucurbit crops, two species of cucumber beetle present the most problems. Zitter. Combination of two entomopathogenic nematode species for suppression of an insect pest. Cucumber beetle damage is fairly easy to spot: damage from feeding on the leaves, scarring on the fruit, and girdled stems from feeding larvae. Most commonly, this damage is found on cucumbers, squashes, melons, and pumpkins, but it can also be found on tomatoes and other garden crops if cucurbits are unavailable or if there are more beetles than the available cucurbits can support. Cucumber beetles, corn rootworms, and bacterial wilt in cucurbits. During the growing season, they are found feeding on seedlings, foliage, pollen and flowers causing greatly reduced yields and sometimes plant loss. The cucumber beetle is known to vector viral diseases in beans; however, damage caused by larvae and adults can increase the incidence and severity of bacterial wilt ( Erwinia tracheiphila ). Available online at: Reed, D. K., G. L. Reed, and C. S. Creighton. Snot Sea Cucumbers are found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia andTasmania. 2002. A cucumber beetle and a yellow ladybug (also known as the ladybird beetle) look almost alike. Antipredator behavior of spotted cucumber beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in response to predators that pose varying risks. One approach to reduce harm to beneficials is to treat only the perimeter trap crop with pyrethrum, or only particular hotspots within the main crop. Straw mulch can help reduce cucumber beetle problems in at least 3 different ways. Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech. The western corn rootworm is similar in appearance to the striped cucumber beetle, and is often observed on squash crops, but is not a squash pest. Adult spotted cucumber beetles are greenish-yellow with six large black spots on each elytron […] Downsides of row covers include their high cost and the fact that they block access to the crop for weeding. Most every part of the plant can be affected, including girdled stems, chewed leaves, and marks on the fruit. The larva of the spotted cucumber beetle is known as the corn rootworm and is a severe problem for corn and other agricultural crops. Using transplants avoids exposure to cucumber beetle feeding during the most susceptible plant stages. Alert Have you seen Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus? Southern climates may see three full generations of cucumber beetles in a single growing season, while northern climates typically see only two. These small beetles are around 6-8mm in length. Comparison of perimeter trap crop varieties: effects on herbivory, pollination, and yield in butternut squash. This cucumber has a mild, almost non-existent flavor. This study found an incredible array of different predator species eating the beetles, including harvestmen (“daddy long legs”), ground and rove beetles, spiders of several kinds, and predatory mites. A field-plot trial found that intercropping cucumbers with corn and broccoli reduced striped cucumber beetles substantially, compared to plots planted in a monoculture of cucumber (Bach, 1980). 3A) have been shown to feed heavily on cucumber beetles in cucurbit crops (Snyder and Wise, 2001). Williams, J.L, and D.H. Aggregation behavior of Western spotted cucumber beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in vegetable cropping systems. Adult cucumber beetles are relatively large, by insect standards, and have a hard outer shell and so will mostly be fed upon by relatively large predators. 2009. Cucurbits are listed by their attractiveness to cucumber beetles in Cucumber Beetles: Organic and Biorational Integrated Pest Management . Beetles, order Coleoptera, is the largest and most diverse order of insects. 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