hvsavard
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Location: Plainfield, IL

Cucumber flower bugs

Hello!

I'm very new here, so I apologize if this question has already been answered. We're trying to grow a burpless cucumber plant and a lemon apple cucumber plant this year, each in its own bucket. The lemon apple has yet to produce any flowers, but it seems to be growing nicely. The burpless, however, seems a bit stunted, but it has (or, at least, had) plenty of flowers. I noticed today that most of the flowers seem to be withering somewhat quickly. In one flower that still looks normal, I saw some tiny, skinny, brown bugs crawling around inside. Quite a few of them, actually. I've looked everywhere and can't figure out what they are, so I also don't know if they're good or bad, or how to get rid of them. A google search led me to a similar question posted in this forum last year, but the only response was that they might be aphids. By looking at them, I don't think that's what they are. Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thank you much!

DoubleDogFarm
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If you look at the flowers closely, you may notice they are all male flowers. Many squashes and cucumbers start out with many more males than females. This should soon change.

Male flower vs. female flower. Hand pollinating
https://www.pollinator.com/hand_pollination2.htm

Hope this helps
Eric

hvsavard
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:39 pm
Location: Plainfield, IL

Thanks for your reply, but I'm not quite as worried about the condition of the flowers as I am about the bugs within the flowers. Do you have any idea what the bugs might be? Like I said, I'm pretty sure they're not aphids. They also don't appear to be larvae of any kind; more like tiny brownish red centipede-like bugs. I'm not sure I can give a better description than that. Again, any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

johnny123
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See if they are spider mites.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

johnny123
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If you are looking at female blossoms they don't last long after they open.
If a disease doesn't kill them and a bug doesn't eat them there may be something left for you.
Zone 47 Sector C

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applestar
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I''m not sure what your concern is. cucumber/cucurbit flowers only stay open for one day, so "withering quickly" is a relative term. Female flowers may stay open a little longer and if pollinated, will develop into fruit.

All kinds of insects eat the pollen but may not cause damage to the plant. At the moment, I can't think what your bug might be though. Any chance you could take a picture?

garden5
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Does it look like anything [url=https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=jly&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&biw=1366&bih=588&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=cucumber+insect&oq=cucumber+insect&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=18065l20141l0l9l7l0l0l0l0l0l0ll0]here[/url]?
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Tedsmac
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Re: Cucumber flower bugs

This is a little late but I think you are looking at lacewings. There are many many different families of this species and they are beneficial to your plants. They eat aphids. They are so small when they are young that they wriggle around like little snakes but they grow old and fly away.

They are not invasive or hazardous to your plant and/or their flowers. :) they are only bad news for controllable outbursts of aphids!

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