graham
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Best Way to Kill Aphids and Striped Cucumber Beetles?

I have a few aphids which I sprayed last night with soap and water, (didn't see many when I went to spray), but I also have identified striped cucmber beetles on my cucumbers.

What is the best approach to killing these without hurting benficial organisms? Just chasing them down and squahing them? Neem oil? Diatomaceous Earth?

My plants are still pretty young, about a foot tall.

gardenvt
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The day after I planted my squash, I found striped cucumber beetles all over them and doing a great deal of damage. My cucumbers and melon were sitting in trays about 10 feet away and they didn't bother them.

I squished as many as I found and we used rotenone/pyrethrin for a week. The problem seemed to get worse after we planted the cucumbers and melons and the buggers were everywhere still doing great damage. So we used Sevin on the squash, cucumbers, melons and eggplants which they also seem to like a lot.

Next day, they were not eating, flying - or breathing. We now have beautiful blossoms on all of the plants and some fruit which will stand a chance to mature.

If you want to get rid of them, use the Sevin.

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Kisal
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Before you use Sevin, or any other insecticide, I recommend that you read the MSDS about it, then decide whether you want to use it or not. You'll find a good past discussion of Sevin [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9685#9685]here[/url].

Also, always keep in mind that any insecticide, including the soap solution that we often recommend here, will kill most insects it comes into contact with, including honeybees. That's why we recommend spraying in the late evening or after dark, when honeybees are not active. But you'll still kill any ladybugs or their larvae that get sprayed.

It's best to research any insecticide before you use it. Then you'll have a better understanding of the overall effects it may have. :)
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graham
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What does MSDS stand for?

gardenvt
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Absolutely, Kisal is right about reading all of the information about any pesticide or chemical. Spraying at night is an excellent recommendation.

We used Sevin as a last resort and sprayed in the evening when the wind was calm. We had the Sevin for a week before we used it so we read and thought about it a lot. We also purchased the Sevin at a local garden center and had a good discussion about it before using it. Pyrethrin and rotenone didn't help in controlling them and certainly did not get rid of them.

The beetles were eating the eggplant, squash, melons and cucumbers and they were very actively mating. We sprayed only the plants that were hosting the beetles. Had we allowed the beetles to continue to multiply at the expense of the above mentioned plants, they would have moved on to other plants.

Whatever you choose to do, it is important to read ALL of the instructions about when, how often and what to spray. The bottle was clear about what might happen to other insects including bees which is why we thought so long about it.

If you are growing purely organic, don't use the Sevin.

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graham wrote:What does MSDS stand for?
Material Safety Data Sheet. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) has specific requirements as to what must be covered in an MSDS.

[url=https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=standards&p_id=10099]29 CFR §1910[/url] et seq. set forth the bulk of the regulations regarding safety practices to be engaged in when working with chemicals. Here is the "Purpose" clause:

1910.1200(a)

"Purpose."

1910.1200(a)(1)

The purpose of this section is to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets and employee training.

(I added the boldface.)

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garden5
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One of the least-invasive methods is to just spray the plants with a stream of water. Typically, this will knock off the aphids and many will not come back on.
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graham
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I have chased them around a bit since I got home...squashed one so far...haven't seen more then 3. The sun's about to go down. I'll sneak out there with my head lamp in a little while.

I'd like to keep the ecosystem free from chemicals if I can. I'll take the manual route for now and see if it worsens. I'll keep the thread updated, but if anyone has additional suggestions, I'd really appreciate it. :)

Aphids seem to be MIA...maybe the heat?

graham
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I killed five of them after sundown. I don't see any more.


And oh yeah--my garden is only 16 sq ft. 3 cucumber plants, 8 pole beans seem to be affected.

GreyMorningDove
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SeaWeed?

I heard mention of a natural Seaweed insecticide when I google searched "plant covered in little green bugs" [ttly new to gardening here]. Google brought me to this forum, and a page that was 5 yrs old' where I found out that the little green bugs are aphids.
The poster didn't say anything other than "seaweed"; not if it's an oil, a spray etc.

I was wondering if this seaweed stuff was easy to make since I live right on the ocean. Anybody know?

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jal_ut
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GreyMorningDove, welcome to the forum.

Sorry, I don't know about the seaweed stuff.
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jal_ut
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[url=https://win14.american.edu/safety/au/vault/000/000034.PDF]MSDS for Sevin Dust[/url]

I suggest we inform ourselves then decide what we will allow in our gardens.
Last edited by jal_ut on Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

gardenbean
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I know this will sound stuipd but in my garden I always attempt to use natural things way before I even think of using "chemicals". First I try to plant "trap plants" around those that I don't want to be attacked. For now I am having success with Borage. If trap plants don't work than I move on to household/kitchen items like tea, salt etc. Just saying.

Good luck in getting rid of those bettles.
Learning as I go and surprising myself when it all comes together......

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rainbowgardener
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organic cucumber beetle control

Here's a thread with links to some info about the Sevin:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=137800&highlight=sevin#137800

I don't think (unfortunately) that what you want to look for is one thing that will deal with the aphids and the cucumber beetles. Almost by definition that one thing would be so potent, it would be harmful to all your beneficials and the environment.

I think you need to keep dealing with problems as they come up with solutions that are as specific as you can. The aphids are easy, they are slow and soft-bodied. They will just sit there and let you squish them. I have a couple plants that get covered with aphids every spring (rose bush and trumpet honeysuckle). I go over them with a kleenex and squish all the aphids and they don't come back. Or the soapy water spray works well on them.

The cucumber beetles are hard shelled and more difficult. Here's some info about controlling them:

Delayed planting is an effective pest management strategy in some regions and cropping systems. Growers can avoid the first generation of cucumber beetles by keeping fields cucurbit-free until the establishment of summer cucurbits like cucumbers, pumpkins and squash intended for fall harvest. Delayed planting is an especially useful cultural strategy in cucurbits because this technique also bypasses first-generation squash bugs.

Floating row covers physically exclude both cucumber beetles and squash bugs during the seedling stage of plant growth. Providing a bug- and beetle-free period allows the plants to thrive and develop a mass of leaf and vine growth by the time row covers are removed at bloom. At this stage of vegetative growth, plants can withstand moderate pest attacks.

Mulching can deter cucumber beetles from laying eggs in the ground near plant stems. Mulches can also function as a barrier to larval migration and feeding on fruits

Insect vacuuming

Predators and parasites that prey on cucumber beetles include hunting spiders, web-weaving spiders, soldier beetles, carabid ground beetles, tachinid flies, braconid wasps, bats and entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes. Braconid wasps (Centisus diabrotica, Syrrhizus diabroticae) and tachinid flies (Celatoria diabroticae, C. setosa) are important natural enemies of cucumber beetles, with parasitism rates reaching 22 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Carabid beetles (Scarites spp. and Evarthrus sodalis) consumed all three life stages (larvae, pupae, adults) of spotted cucumber beetle, striped cucumber beetle and squash bugs in a laboratory feeding trial...Bats are voracious eaters of insects and more farmers are erecting bat houses to enhance biological control of crop pests.

Last resort pesticides: a mixture of neem with karanja oil can reduce cucumber beetle populations by 50 to 70 percent . The botanical pesticides sabadilla, rotenone or pyrethrum have moderate effectiveness in controlling cucumber beetles. Sabadilla is toxic to bugs and honey bees, and sabadilla should not be applied when bees are present. Pyrethrum is also toxic to all insects, including beneficial species. These botanical pesticides are also highly toxic to fish until degraded.

All the above info from
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/cucumberbeetle.html

This is aimed at commercial growers, so doesn't mention hand-picking, but for small growers that is also very effective and the most environmentally low impact.

Spinosad is organic insecticide. It is a bacterial exudate. It is completely safe for human beings, does not affect us. However, it can be harmful to honeybees, if they contact the spray when wet. To avoid this, use the spray at dusk, after the honeybees have gone home for the day. Once it is dried, it is no longer harmful to them, but still effective for the target populations.

Also be sure your garden is very bird friendly. A number of birds will eat beetles, including grackles, starlings, crows, cardinals, meadowlarks, catbirds, english (house) sparrows, robins. All those nuisance birds do have a purpose!

What we are aiming for is a little mini -ecosystem in our yards that is in balance. A few cucumber beetles won't hurt anything, but an infestation of them can destroy your crop.
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GreyMorningDove
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Well thank you for a reply none the less, jal_ut.



I think I've decided to order some ladybugs online. Again, I'm new to this *crosses fingers*. I've recently moved to NH and acquired a garden...it's kinda fun waiting to see what pops up from the previous owner. Except for the fact that I have no green thumb what so ever!

GreyMorningDove
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Re: organic cucumber beetle control

I go over them with a kleenex and squish all the aphids and they don't come back. Or the soapy water spray works well on them.





So, this soapy water...are we talking, like, liquid dish-detergent?

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rainbowgardener
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No SOAP not detergent. Soap is organic, detergent is synthetic and can burn your plants (doesn't always, depending on concentration and plant, conditions, etc, but we heard some sad stories here about people who sprayed their plants all over with detergent and they all curled up and died).

Soap is things like Dr. Brunner's, Murphy's Oil Soap, Ivory (the kind that says 99 99/100 pure) or slivers of hand soap dissolved in water.

Most dishwashing liquid is detergent. Detergent solutions, especially detergent and vinegar solutions are good herbicides which should tell you something.
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GreyMorningDove
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Thank you so much for clarifying!

What about just plain vinegar in water? Would that work?

I also have Natural Dish Liquid from Seventh Generation which is apparently plant derived...
Ingredients: Aqua (water), sodium lauryl sulfate, lauramine oxide, decyl glucoside and lauryl polyglucose (plant-derived cleaning agents), 1,3-propanediol (plant-derived foam stabilizer), citric acid (cornstarch-derived water softener), sodium chloride (thickener), magnesium chloride (cleaning enhancer), essential oils and botanical extracts* (citrus aurantifolia (lime), lavendula angustifolia (lavender), mentha spicata (spearmint), mentha piperita (peppermint), cananga odorata (ylang ylang)), preservative (details online). Trace materials are commonly present in cleaning product ingredients.
*d-Limonene is a component of these essential oils. No phosphates.


Thank you for all your help.

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rainbowgardener
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Are we still talking about the aphids? I just said vinegar is an herbicide. That means it kills plants. Don't spray it on any plant you want, though you can try it on weeds.

Sorry, if I confused things by throwing the vinegar in there. My point was only that detergents are used in herbicides/ weed killers, so you don't want to put them on plants you want.
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GreyMorningDove
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Yes, okay, reread your post [ :roll: busy weekend here, divided attention].

Thank's again for your help. :)

graham
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I got some Ivory Soap and made a really diluted spray with the shavings and water,and I sprayed twice. Haven't seen any aphids. But it has been hot and now it is cooler today, so I am interested to see when I get home if they have returned.

I have just been hunting down the cuke beetles and squishing them. They seem to be under control--only saw one yesterday. The only thing that worries me is that the few that have been around may have laid eggs, and the problem could get worse????? I know that you can spray the diatoms on the soil to control that...does anyone know if the diatoms hurt other beneficial things in the soil?

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rainbowgardener
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"I know you can spray the diatoms"

You are talking about diatomaceous earth? I don't believe it can be sprayed. It comes in powder form to be sprinkled on the soil around plant. You can even dust it on leaves of plants that are being eaten. It works because it is made of very sharp little tiny pieces. It cuts open things that crawl over it, meaning it is especially useful for caterpillar/ worm type crawlies. I don't know that it would bother your cucumber beetles very much, since they walk on legs and their bodies are elevated above the dust. Earthworms though they crawl are mostly under the soil and they are pretty tough, so they are not bothered by the DE either.

Here's a really nice article about organic cucumber beetle control:

https://www.ghorganics.com/CucumberBeetles.htm

It doesn't mention DE, which I think is an indication that it isn't effective against them. Larvae would be more likely to be affected by DE than the adult bugs, but I think the cuke beetle larvae are in the soil, not on it, so again, DE probably would probably not bother them.
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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graham
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rainbowgardener wrote:"I know you can spray the diatoms"

You are talking about diatomaceous earth?


I meant predatory nematodes. Sorry, got mixed up--still new at this.

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sheeshshe
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I had cucumber beetles last week and I sprayed the plants that were being affected with Surround Kaolin clay. IDK if its because it was the Surround or if it is because of the sudden drop in temps or rain, but I haven't seen any in the past few days.
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rainbowgardener
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I've never used the kaolin clay. I've read that it is effective against cucumber beetles (and squash vine borers! might inspire me to try zucchinis again next year) but that it wears off and you have to reapply every week or so or whenever you get a hard rain.
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