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Highly Destructive - Western Spotted Cucumber Beetle

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by Patty S on June 29, 2006 07:58 PM
The closest thing I can find in trying to identify this nasty, horrible, little bug is Mexican Bean Beetle.
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The desciption I found for the Mexican Bean Beetle is:
quote:
Adults are lemon to copper colored, oval in shape, and 1/4 inch long with 16 black spots on their back (wings).
But this one only has 9 spots... as do all its friends, who totally wiped out my corn crop last year, & are into my roses this year! [Mad]

More important than finding out WHAT it is, is finding out how to get rid of it! Last year I tried several different things (& some commercial applications that I would never normally use ANYWHERE, much less on food plants), but it's a die-hard! The corn was so devistated (besides having been sprayed with "bad" stuff), that I pulled it all up & put it in the burn pile... & planted grass there! With that kind of bug around here, I won't even try corn again!

Anybody have an idea what it is? ...and/or how to get rid of it?

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by Patty S on June 29, 2006 09:18 PM
I found my bug! [clappy] (That figures! I've been trying to identify it for an entire year, & ONLY when I start a topic with the hope that someone knows what it is, I go & stumble across it myself!)

Oh well... because this is the place where we share information in the best interest of successful gardens, others in the western region who are familiar with this destructive creature might be able to help... or to be helped!

According to ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas) National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service,
quote:
The western spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata undecimpunctata) is about 0.36 inches long and is greenish yellow with black spots. It is found only in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Oregon. It is more abundant and destructive in the southern part of its range.
The "found only in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Oregon" part, is why I'd never seen this bug before - I'm "new" to Oregon!

Now that I know what it is, the problem remains: What to do about it. [dunno]
The floor is open for suggestions.......

...while I go & edit the title of the topic.

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by pagarden on June 30, 2006 02:10 PM
that's odd- i live in NE PA and found a few of those guys today. only about 2 or 3 the rest of my bugs were the striped cucumber bettle- similar just with stipes instead of spots.

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maybe there's something that looks like the spotted one that lives up this way? i squished 'em just the same as my striped ones though! [Mad] nasty nasty bugs...... they spread disease too...
by Triss on June 30, 2006 02:20 PM
Here is some more info on your bug Patty.

Cucumber Beetle

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Patty S on June 30, 2006 07:19 PM
Apparently, according to what I've been reading about Cucumber Beetles, they come in several colors & patterns! I haven't seen any of the striped ones around here... (but the spotted ones chew up enough in my gardens without needing help, thankyou!) [Mad]

I don't know why, but these bugs have been narrowed down to where there are Western & Eastern Striped Cucumber Beetles, Western Spotted Cucumber Beetles & California Banded Cucumber Beetles. (Also, Southern Corn Rootworms, whose larvae are similar in appearance to Striped Cucumber Beetles, as shown in Triss's link.)

As near as I can decipher, the primary differences between these individual beetles are the regions they live in (east, west & California... if you can believe it!) [Roll Eyes] & the stripes, or the number of spots, on the individual species! [nutz] (Each species, however, feeds on different parts of various plants.)

It amazes me that someone has done such in-depth studies on Cucumber Beetles, & has actually separated the different species according to what they eat, how many spots/stripes they have, & the regions where each one snacks! [perplexed] I think that whether they're striped, spotted or banded, for our purposes we're safe just calling them Cucumber Beetles, & knowing that we don't want them in our gardens!

Here's a link to the Cucumber Beetles: Organic and Biorational Summary page, on the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Services website.

Yes, pagarden, I understand that these Beetles & their larvae transmit viral diseases such as bean viruses, squash mosaic virus, & bacterial wilt on MANY plants... such as melons, potatoes, peas, corn, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, flowers & fruit trees. (Gosh! what else is there?)  -

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by johnCT on July 01, 2006 02:04 AM
Cuke beetles come in either striped or spotted varieties. I only get the striped buggers here. What a nuisance!

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John - Zone 6

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