How To Avoid Cucumber Beetle Damage? If only I could rub a magical watering can and bring out a genius from the garden! My first wish would be to free my garden from the striped cucumber beetle and its cousin, the spotted cucumber beetle. Over the years, the damage from the cucumber beetle has profaned more of my cucurbit plants than all the other garden pests put together. This dazzling duo is why I haven’t been able to pick cucumbers and pickle for several years in a row.
Damage of the cucumber beetle
Time plays a key role in garden planting in my area. If I cry too early, I run the risk of losing the tender plants due to late frost. If you plant too late, long season plants will not have time to mature. This gives me about a three-week sowing window.
Coincidentally, this three-week period, which lasts from late May to mid-June, is when the striped and spotted cucumber beetle actively mates in my region. Year after year I sowed cucurbit seeds and waited for germination. As they sprouted from the ground, my cucumber and pumpkin plants looked healthy and grew rapidly.
So apparently overnight, the leaves on my cucurbits would wilt. A quick check of the soil revealed enough moisture, but within a few days, the whole area would die. Worse still, the perpetrators never bothered to hide. Adult beetles spotted or streaked with cucumber could be found crawling on leaves, vines, and flowers with their provocative six-legged step.
As the name suggests, the adult striped cucumber beetle is marked with yellow and black stripes, while the spotted cucumber beetle sports a yellow abdomen with black spots. Both are approximately ¼ of an inch or 6 mm. long. The damage to the cucumber beetle by adults is seen mainly above ground. Their worm-like larvae live in the soil and attack the roots of cucumber, squash, squash and watermelon plants.
Home remedies for cucumber beetles
Like many gardeners, I grow a garden to provide healthy food to my family, so chemical warfare in vegetarian beds is not a path I take. However, I knew that if I ever wanted to have homemade pickles again, I would have to implement some form of control of the cucumber beetle.
As I searched for home remedies for cucumber beetles, it quickly became clear that I would need a strategic attack plan. This means performing control of the cucumber beetle by learning the enemy first. As with all parasites, the more we know about their life cycle, the better we can defeat them using non-chemical means.
So here are some natural methods to fight cucumber beetles, which is based on their life cycle:
- Adult cucumber beetles overwinter in the garden soil. Cleaning the garden in autumn and tillage expose them to the elements.
- If their favorite plants aren’t readily available when they emerge, adult beetles don’t linger in the garden. Start the cucurbits indoors and transplant them into the garden after the mating season. For me, this is from mid to late June.
- Rotate crops whenever possible. I have had success growing cucurbits in containers that use fresh soil every year.
- Try planting a mate with tansy or nasturtium. Or use the leaves of these plants as a mulch around the base of sensitive cucurbits to deter cucumber beetles from laying their eggs there.
You can also collect cockroaches from plants or use blankets to protect the vines, but I have had more success with controlling cucumber beetles simply by outsmarting small buggers.