we are a new farm in boonville california with much diversity little money but lots of ambition.
at this time we are in serious war against the cucumber beetle for our summer harvest.
our most recent attempt to save our food is gathering insects, ending their lives, letting them rot, hoping their remains cultivate a disease and spraying them on our crops.
we abhor chemicals.
any suggestions, particularly based upon empirical observation, would be greatly appreciated
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
posted 7 years ago
They like to hide under leaves. I have to hand-pick. Put birdbaths up so more birds come -- they will eat lots of bugs and the birdbaths will give them enough water that they won't eat holes in your tomatoes later.
Yellow cards above the plant tops with vasaline on them will attract bugs and cause them to stick to the card. Just wash them off in a bucket of soapy water. By laminating yellow card stock or by using plastic cards you can reuse them.
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
posted 7 years ago
In this area of the Ozarks if we grow any large amount of a crop, large amounts of insects show up too...it's like they send out a call to their friends. If I mix the plants up a little, let my benificial bug borders go wild and moniter diligently to catch and squish the early shows along with really healthy plants everything usually does very well. I know cucumber beetles carry virus but have not had any problems with that....We have a really active bird and bat population that I know help out. Sometimes it takes a long time to allow the balance nature will provide (with our help) to happen. Something as simple as trellising can help at least to see the bugs.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
I have had great success using beneficial nematodes against an invasion of cucumber beetles in my kitchen garden.
I used soapy-water traps and hand picked the adults (hundreds in a small area), and the nematodes prevented more from hatching. They did not help the crops already damaged, but I saw no more beetles that summer (last summer) and none so far this year. I was impressed with how effective the nematodes were!
If you google, you can find farm-sized quantities of nematodes for a reasonable price. (Post here if you can't find the link and I will hunt it down.)
Unfortunately I don't have any good advice on controlling cucumber beetles, other than creating a diverse and healthy landscape. In the interest of avoiding confusion, I just wanted to point out that scientific name in the title of this post is not correct. There are two insects frequently referred to as cucumber beetles
The Spotted Cucumber Beetle Diabrotica undecimpunctata The Striped Cucumber Beetle Acalymma vittatum