Get rid of Cucumber Beetles - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by garlicgouw
June 30, 2010
How can I prevent the beetles infested in my cucumber plants? I planted Marigold, still infested, how to save my cucumber?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
Cucumber beetles are truly a pest. It's easier to keep them away early in the season than get rid of them once they entrench. As far as I know, there are cucumber varieties that are resistant to bacterial wilt, which the beetles transmit, but none resistent to the beetles themselves. Here are some suggestions: keep weeds in control early in the season, as the adults feed on pollen from weed seeds before cucumber plants emerge. Rotate your crops so that you there's at least a three-year interval between planting vine crops in the same location. Cover your plants with summer-weight fabric row covers early in the summer to prevent beetles from reaching them. Most cucmbers need pollination by insects in order to bear fruit, so you'll need to pull back the cover when the plants blossom to allow bees in. Alternately, you can hand-pollinate the blossoms. Knock, shake, or hand pick beetles off plants and out of flowers, and clean up garden debris in the fall to reduce the number of overwintering adults. When the plants outgrow the cover, if the adults beetles are still a problem, dust plants and flowers with insecticides containing pyrethrum, following package instructions. Good luck!

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