Controlling Cucumber Beetle – How To Deter Cucumber Beetles In The Garden?
Cucumbers are one of the most popular vegetables grown in our country. They have been cultivated since ancient times and they were first introduced into Europe from China around 1000 A.D. Today, cucumbers account for over half of all fruits consumed worldwide! Most people think that cucumbers do not grow well in their area, but they actually thrive here in the United States. However, some areas of the world (like Africa) don’t get much rain so there isn’t enough water to support them. These areas are usually very arid and cucumbers become scarce or even disappear completely. If you live somewhere where cucumbers aren’t growing then it’s probably because you haven’t planted them properly!
The best way to avoid cucumber beetles is to plant your cucumbers in soil with good drainage. You want the soil to drain well so that when the roots of your plants reach out into it, they won’t be stuck in mud or soggy ground. Also, make sure you use composted manure instead of regular cow manure which tends to harbor bacteria and other harmful organisms that cause disease and rot your produce.
This will also deter cucumbers beetles and other pests from attacking your plants.
Now, that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the fun part where you can learn all about keeping your cucumbers free from the threat of these little green beetles!
What Do Cucumber Beetles Look Like?
These small little insects are usually green or brown in color. They have a distinct line down their backs like most beetles do and they have small wings. The front pair of wings is usually shorter than the hind pair and they have little hairs on them. The black spots on their wing cases are easy to see up close. If you turn one over, you will notice the underside is white or light yellow in color. They are very small and adults do not grow larger than the size of a grain of rice! The nymphs are even smaller than that though so be careful when picking them off your plants.
The eggs are little white oval shapes that can be found on the underside of your cucumbers’ leaves. They tend to clump together in groups of twos or threes and they hatch after about five days. If you see little green puffs on your plants, those are the empty shells from the eggs that have hatched.
What Do The Nymphs Look Like?
Cucumber beetles go through four stages of growth called nymphs. The first stage is when they hatch from their eggs. They are very small and have a distinct white color to them. They tend to have small black markings on their bodies as well. They cannot fly or go anywhere by themselves so they stay close to where they hatched. The second stage starts after the nymphs have eaten enough plant matter to grow larger. Now they can fly and even breed so you’ll see large groups of these little guys running around here and there. The adult cucumber beetles are about the size of a penny. The third stage is when they become adults and have full size wings so they can fly around and breed even more! The last stage is when they become full grown adults and their coloring is pretty distinct.
What Do They Do?
These insects are very interesting little creatures because they have several different food sources other than your cucumbers! They will eat many types of garden plants and weeds so you’ll see them hopping around from plant to plant. They can eat over 100 different types of plants! They also like moisture and will stay close to the soil or your garden pond if there is one nearby. Some people think that they have a preference for ivy plants but this hasn’t been proven.
The adults will lay their eggs on the undersides of your cucumbers’ leaves and they hatch in about five days. The eggs turn into nymphs and then they grow into adults after about two weeks. This is also about the time that the adults will die off until the next year.
The nymphs will stay close to your garden and eat its plants throughout the remainder of the summer. It’s best to get rid of them before their population gets out of hand!
How To Get Rid Of Cucumber Beetles Naturally
1. Hand Picking
The first and most important thing that you can do to get rid of these pests is to hand pick them off of your plants! You may not get them all this way but it will help a lot. You can use a spray later on to kill the stragglers or young ones that you miss.
2. Water Pressure
These insects don’t like water so you can use a simple hose to wash them off of your plants.