Striped Cucumber beetles - Knowledgebase Question

Perkasie, PA
Question by wkwp
July 20, 1999
I am 14 years old, and have been growing Burpee zucchini for 5 years. Every single year the plants get infested with Striped Cucumber beetles, and they wilt and die. This year I have 16 plants of Burpee's hybrid zucchini, and 12 plants of Burpee's New England Pie pumpkin. They are all infested with Striped Cucumber beetles. I would like to use an organic method of control, but more importantly, I need a method that works. A book I have says to apply parisitic nematodes to the soil, and spray plants with sabadilla or rotenone. Is this method organic and does it work?


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Answer from NGA
July 20, 1999

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Sounds like you're an avid gardener! It's always best to rotate crops so that overwintering insects cannot hatch and immediately start feeding. So, to keep infestation to a minimum, be sure to grow your squash and melons in different areas of the garden each year. Since you have an established population of the pests, you might try growing your plants under floating row covers (such as Reemay), or planting crops that repel the critters, such as radishes or nasturtiums. To control cucumber beetles, as soon as you see signs of them in your garden begin spraying sabadilla dust on the plants. This will kill them quickly and prevent them from spreading bacterial wilt
throughout the plants. Sabadilla dust is available through Gardens Alive, 5700 Schlenley Pl. Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 812-537-8650

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