scot29
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pyrethrin & cucumbers

Hi all. I was reading a bottle of pyrethrin today and it listed all the vegies it was safe to use on. Cucumbers were not on the list. However the list wasn't very long, so there were several omissions. Anyone know if it's safe for cucumbers? I have a growing population of cucumber beetles that I need to deal with. Plus the japanese beetles came out the other day, so I need to deal with them as well. I've been hand picking to this point, but I at least need something on hand in case of an infestation. Tks!

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jal_ut
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Its not safe for the pollinators if the plants are in bloom. You need insect pollinators for squash and cukes. Tough call.
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scot29
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Ah yes, good point. Both are in bloom right now. Any suggestions to deal with cucumber & japanese beetles?

Hispoptart
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get some seven.

garden5
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Hispoptart wrote:get some seven.

Prepare to duck for cover :shock:.

Seven is not the most popular compound around here.....and for good reason. [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25967]Here's[/url] an earlier thread on it.

For the beetles, if your garden's not that huge, you could try hand-picking. Birds work great, as well. Maybe put up some bird and bat houses?
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jal_ut
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Seven = Sevin I guess. a wide spectrum insecticide. Yes it will kill bugs, and yes it will kill your pollinators too. Bees gather pollen which is a powder. I have seen bees gather insecticide powder and carry it home. This can't be good for the bees or their brood. I have also seen piles of dead bees in front of my hives when un-thinking un-caring farmers have sprayed crops that were in flower. Corn and alfalfa are the worst here.

I wish there was a better answer. The only time I will use insecticides on squash is before it flowers. After that, I don't want to kill the bees that are working the flowers.

Maybe you could go after the squash bugs with a mild soap solution? The soap has no residual effect and won't bother the bees unless you spray it on them. I use this for aphids on cabbage and earwigs on about anything. I seldom get squash bugs because of our hard winters. It is funny to watch an earwig hit with soapy water. First he goes wild and takes off running, but he soon slows down and dies within 15-30 seconds. Soapy water will kill a wide variety of insects and some spiders. You do need to spray it directly on the insect.

Squash plants bloom in the morning and in the afternoon the flowers close up. Go bug hunting when the flowers are closed, and you won't be bothering the bees.

When I have a question about any chemical I find the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for that chemical. Google is your friend: [url=https://www.greenbook.net/docs/MSDS/M4772.PDF]Sevin MSDS[/url]
Last edited by jal_ut on Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rainbowgardener
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organic beetle control

Agree re bird and bat houses. It's a longer term solution that is not going to fix anything right now. It takes a good while for bats to take up residence in your bat house (they don't like human smell on it, so it has to weather a bit). But once they do, they are voracious insect eaters.

Growing your squash/cucumber under row cover keeps the JB's and the cucumber beetles and everyone else off it. But if you leave the row cover on, then you have to hand pollinate the flowers, because bees can't get to them either.

If you are starting to have big populations of beetles, you can just go over the plants with a vacuum cleaner (maybe hand held like dust buster) and suck them up.

The pyrethrins are effective against them. You can minimize (which isn't necessarily the same as eliminate) the effect on honeybees by spraying very late (after dusk) or very early (before dawn). Also the beetles congregate on the leaves. If you can spray the leaves, including undersides, and as much as possible avoid spraying the flowers, it's better for the bees. (Spraying late or early helps with that too, since the flowers aren't open).

Other possibilities: Neem oil, kaolin clay, garlic pepper spray (type that into search the forum for recipes)

https://www.attra.org/attra-pub/cucumberbeetle.html#cultural
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gixxerific
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All but the Sevin are decent to use if used correctly. I use pyrethrin but more than often use a soap spray. Either way I hunt down the individual pest and don't go hog wild spraying the whole plant. I see way too many of the good guy's to be doing that.

scot29
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Tks everyone, helpful as always!

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rainbowgardener
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Soap spray is very effective on soft bodied things like aphids; not so much on hard shell things like beetles. My JB's took a pretty long time to die when dumped into a bowl of soapy water, even when I pushed them under the water. I can't imagine that some spray would slow them down too much.
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