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Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:22 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

squash bugs, cucumber beetles

where I live, they're called cucumber beetles, but I always hear them called squash bugs. whatever you call them, they are DESTROYING my garden, eating basil, lettuce, amaranth, quinoa, potatoes and a bunch more, rendering leaves inedible and slowing the growth dramatically. I've never imagined that one type of insect could cause such damage. they seem extremely indescriminant, eating anything anywhere ....except they haven't touched the cucumbers or any other squash :shock:
Please save me by telling me how to get rid of them

Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:49 am
Location: east bangor, pa

I think that cucumber beetles are cute little stripped bugs that mostly harm crops by spreading disease. Squash bugs are gray ugly things that reproduce so rapidly that overwhelm your squash and cucumber plants. Check underside of leaves for eggs and crush them.

Full Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:22 pm
Location: Southern Oregon

thank you and I guess I could have described the darn critter!!! I know the yellow/black striped one and it's not around but its identical to the yellow/black SPOTTED one that I do have. any way to control them?

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

There are spotted cucumber beetles. It's weird that it's avoiding your cucurbitae (squash & cucumbers); they are reputed to highly prefer them.

A lot of the things to control cucumber beetles are more preventative than when you have a big infestation but some you could still do. Their biggest predators are parasitic wasps and nematodes and bats (one of the for the future things would be put up a bat house! :) ).

"The Insect Parasitic Nematode Web site,, developed and maintained by the department of entomology at The Ohio State University, contains information on the biology and ecology of nematodes and how to use them for pest control in different crops (Grewal, 2007). It features an extensive list of commercial suppliers of parasitic nematodes."

In the spring, floating row covers can keep bugs off your plants, but they
are normally removed once the plants are flowering.

One thing you can do given that you've got them all over is just vacuum them off your plants. (They make hand held bug catcher vacuums)

Otherwise Neem oil or organic insecticides. My recipe for the latter is
chop up onion & garlic, leaves of tomato plant, add to blender with cayenne pepper, black pepper, any strong aromatic herbs you have around (mint, basil, tansy, tarragon, etc). Blend it up with water, a little salad oil to help it stick, and a few drops of liquid soap (not detergent) and let sit over night. Strain well and spray.

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