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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:19 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Cucumber Beetles !@#$

Hello all,
My container garden is being eaten alive by Cucumber Beetles. I have only glimpsed them a few times (at first I didnt kill it because in my naivete I thought it was just a pale ladybug. Face palm!) but they are doing a ton of damage. They're eating the entire blooms on the petunias, and have given them their nasty bacteria, so now the petunias are withering and dying. they've also been snacking on my morning glories and 4 o'clocks, but have mostly left the zinnias alone. is there ANYthing I can do to control this? I bought some Neem oil, but I've heard it only really works on the larvae. I need to kill the adults as well. I don't really care if it is organic, but certainly don't want anything known to cause cancer or kill birds/bees.
Thanks very much for any help you can offer!

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Posts: 27802
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I didn't know they ate petunias and morning glories! :evil:

Most beetles play dead and drop when disturbed. I usually hold a pint deli container or a Chinese takeout tray of soapy water under where they are, then chase them down with my other hand. In some cases (usualy with Japanese beetle infestation not cucumber beetles) I throw a large plastic bag over a tall plant, bend the stem slightly, and shake vigorously, then close the bag as I remove it from the plant, and thoroughly stomp on it. I call this the Japanese Beetle Bag Dance -- think "Mexican Hat Dance" :wink:

The trick with the soapy water is not to have it too far below where the beetles are. If they get sufficient air space, some of them will manage to fly off -- cucumber beetles are particularly adept at that.

I found this resource that seems very useful:
:arrow: https://growit.umd.edu/plantandpestproblems/Cucumber%20Beetle.cfm

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