graham
Full Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 4:19 pm
Location: Central Indiana

Cucumber Beetles and Bacterial Wilt...too late?

I read that bacterial wilt sets in on cucumber plants about 30 days after the cuke beetles start feeding on the plant. I didn't realize this is the way it works. I have just been trying to pick them off as I see them. In the past couple days there seem to be more than before.

So I'm thinking if it's not too late, I'll buy some Surround Kaolin Clay to spray on them--but it's $25 a bag, and if my plants are going to get the wilt anyway---should I spend the money?

The article I read said this,

"About 30 days after the infected beetles start to feed on a plant, the water-carrying pores in the plant stems become clogged with bacteria and the plant wilts dramatically and dies. It's very important to get rid of the cucumber beetles, their eggs and larvae."

So--if the bacteria builds up on it's own by growing in the pores, to try to fix it now may be futile--but if the pores get clogged by the beetles continuing to infect the plant with bacteria as time goes on, then it wouldn't be too late....

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

graham
Full Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 4:19 pm
Location: Central Indiana

Well....I couldn't find any Kaolin Clay in my area, so I broke down and bought some pyrethrin spray, waited until the sun was down last night, and sprayed the heck out of em. I figured it was either take the chance of repelling some bees and still have plants for them to pollinate when the spray dissapates, or lose the plants altogether to bacterial wilt within the next couple weeks.

newag
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:03 pm

I have been wondering if my cucumber plant (which now only has 2 vines) has either bacterial wilt or the mosiac virus (I think both of which come from that cucumber beetle.) From everything that I have read, once the plant is infected, it is too late. It will eventually kill the plant. I've also read that you should get rid of the plant. (I'm assuming so it doesn't spread, although I don't know how it does.) I hate to post this because no one wants to hear that....However, I am hoping that I am wrong about mine and letting the two vines continue (they are in a container by themselves.) I haven't seen any beetles at all. (Well, I did see one crawling in my in ground garden heading for my squash, but I got it and smashed it.) Sorry to post this discouraging news. :(

newag
Full Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:03 pm

By the way......I'm not telling you to go and get rid of your plant. I'm just saying that is what I have read. I'm keeping mine. What do I have to lose?

gardenvt
Green Thumb
Posts: 302
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:21 am

Last year, I lost my cucumbers to the beetles and their delivery of bacterial wilt. I removed the plants but did not know that the cucumber beetles would winter over somewhere in the neighborhood but I did wonder.

Sure enough, they arrived the day I put out the squash. I picked them for over a week and suddenly they swarmed the cukes and melons and were enjoying some of the eggplant as well. We used pyrethrin/rotenone several times and finally used Sevin Spray to get rid of the larvae. Here it is weeks later and we lost one of the squash to the wilt. We found both types of cucumber beetles (spotted & striped) a few days ago and sprayed with Seven again on the squash, cukes and melons.

I am not promoting Sevin - just telling you what I did. You must use caution with this or any other type of insecticide. Spray in the evening when the wind is calm and only spray what you have to. READ and FOLLOW the instructions.

I would personally remove the plant(s). Insecticide use should be considered only after a great deal of thought.

graham
Full Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 4:19 pm
Location: Central Indiana

Well....I sprayed the pyrethrins and have only seen one since, but it was moving really slow. Time will tell, I guess

graham
Full Member
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 4:19 pm
Location: Central Indiana

As an update...it was too late. The wilt got them. Hope they do well this year--so far so good. :)



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