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cucumber beetle (dibrotica speciosa)

 
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we need support

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
 
                    
Posts: 177
Location: Bay Area, California (z8)
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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.
 
steward
Posts: 2719
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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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.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11366
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I found Amaranth, specifically Golden Giant variety, to be a very effective trap crop for cucumber beetles.

 
Posts: 7052
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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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.
 
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Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
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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.)
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Two informative university articles regarding beneficial nematodes:
WSU
Cornell


 
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Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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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
 
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