Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:55 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Pests on cucumbers in Austin TX

Hi there everyone - I'm a brand new member who knows a lot about technology and very little about gardening. My wife and I are in the 3rd season of our "first" garden, but the first two seasons were a bit of a wash. The combination of a home purchase, wedding and very busy work life left me not enough time to do anything substantial with my garden.

Fast forward to today ... the house is settled, the wedding is just memories and our fall garden is in full swing. I have a cucumber plant that has produced a few cucumbers already, but just recently I've noticed some discoloration on the leaves and did some investigation this afternoon. I've found three items of note.

One was a green worm aboout 1/2 inch long, with two long white stripes on it running longitudinally. that I think is a cabbage looper. No problem identifying it and finding info.

The second, based on a page I read about eelworms, was a single off-white worm that I noticed when I put a cucumber leaf into a glass of water. It was so small that I only noticed it due to it wriggling around, but not as small as eelworms were described to be. On top of that, my last item kinda negated one of what I thought was a supporting symptom.

Third - once I took pictures of different interesting points of the plant for posting here, I noticed that the hard "nodule" that I thought was from the eelworm actually had legs of it's own!! My first thought was aphids (not sure why since I have never seen an aphid that I know of), but searching online I was never able to find a picture of an aphid that resembled what I had. The closest I could come was scale ...

So now, finally, to my question - any idea what is causing this and how to treat it?

Sorry for the long discourse ... I just haven't had time to do fun things like this in what seems like years. So I'm splurging at your expense. :D

Thanks in advance for any guidance and info you can provide.

David & Holly - GIT (Gardeners In Training)

Here's the link to some pics:

[/url https://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0EYtWTVsyasXJQ&emid=shareprintsharer&linkid=link4&cid=EM_sharshar]

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

Well, first off, congratulations on the house, the wedding and starting the first garden. Also, welcome to the Helpful Gardener.

Unfortunately, you mystery is a mystery to me as well.

One thing I'm wondering, though, is if any of these insects are what's causing the leaf die-off. Where exactly are these leaves. Are they higher up on the plant, or towards the base?

I've found with mine that the older leaves tend to always die off as the plant grows, but it still keeps producing.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3938
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: ID/WA! border

David, I'm not sure what it is either. However, I'm inclined to think that your insects may not be the problem.

It is quite normal to have, at least, some insect pests in our garden at all times. I mean, some fly in on a minute to minute basis. Others are in the soil until they reach a certain stage in their life cycle and then they appear above ground.

Combating these critters isn't always necessary but for many, like those aphids, soap and water spray may be all that is necessary to give the plants some relief.

Getting back to your cucumber leaves: take a look at Septoria leaf spot on this Cornell webpage: https://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/diagnostickeys/CucKey.html

I think Cornell does a good job of helping us learn about disease in our gardens. Some of these are spread around by the bugs . . . so, there IS that problem, too.

No expert on cucumbers but I just wanted you to take a look at what Cornell has for us and hope it helps.


Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:55 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Thanks for the replies. I think I might be over analyzing my garden and it's flora and fauna as I'm sure many beginners do.

Garden5 - some of the yellowing leaves shown in the pictures tend to be the oldest ones closest to the base, but the ones I was concerned most about were those that were "dotted" in white in about the middle third of the vine. The "dotting" seemed to correlate to where those little mite-looking creatures were on the underside of the plant, which is why I was concerned about them.

digitS' - thanks so much for the Cornell site, I'll definitely be using that one again to narrow things down that I find in the future. The Septoria Leaf Spot isn't a match for what I see on the plant, but the site looks like it will be invaluable anyway.

Thanks again, and hope to see you all in future posts.

David & Holly

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”