Reader Asks for Advice About Cucumber Beetles

Canton gardener Judy Bailey called me this week to say that for the first time ever she has cucumber beetles in her garden.  She’s concerned that the population has increased beyond the point of being manageable with hand-picking.  Judy is  curious whether the beetles are visiting other North Country gardens for the first time this year.  She also welcomes advice on how to control the population.  Judy reports that the beetles in her yard are tucked way down into the flowers on her cucumber plants, where she is not sure her patrol of chickens will be able to reach.

Last summer, Sue Rau of Massena wrote to The Garden Plot to say that in spring she protects small plants from beetles by placing plastic cups as protection over them.  Any good ideas for this time of year?

4 Comments on “Reader Asks for Advice About Cucumber Beetles”

  1. Michael Greer says:

    I too have had more cucumber beetles than ever this year. I was very diligent about squashing them twice a day this spring, and managed to get most of them eventually. Ha! The ones that got away laid their eggs nearby, and I think that next generation is out there now. Of course the plants are much too large to inspect this time of year. so we will have to rely on crop rotation…moving the cucurbits to an entirely new spot to try and outrun them next spring.
    Next year I’m going to try and confuse their senses by planting other smelly things with the squashes and cucumbers. I’m thinking marigolds will look nice in there….What else?

  2. Louise Scarlett says:

    Definitely more cucumber beetles this year – even on bush beans, which I’ve not seen before. I’ve slowed them down some by spraying a solution of Neem every few days, but its effectiveness is short-lived with the rain we’ve had. I may have to consider row covers next season. I’ve avoided them so far because they seem cumbersome. Have others had success using them against cucumber beetles?

  3. Barb Heller says:

    My Amish friend plants garlic and marigolds amidst the cucumber plants. He says it makes the difference between spraying and not spraying. He still gets a few beetles, but no where near the damage on plants that don’t have ‘companions’. I’m going to try this next year in my garden which also had a lot of cucumber beetle damage this spring.

  4. Judy Bailey says:

    Can’t say I am glad that I am not the only one being “bugged”, but I do appreciate the tips. Next year I also will try some companions and will move the cucumbers and squash to another area. Now if I could only get rid of the deer, but that’s another story…

Comments are closed.