Cucumber Beetles - Knowledgebase Question

Dayton, OH
Question by ash125
July 28, 1999
Will milky spores control cucumber beetles? When is the best application time, spring or fall? I would rather not see any next year!

Answer from NGA
July 28, 1999


Cucumber beetles not only feed on plants, they transmit diseases, too. Either rotenone or pyrethrum are effective against them. (Milky spore is effective against Japanese beetles, but does not specifically mention cucumber beetles.) You should rotate your crop so overwintering insects won't get a jumpstart on your plants next spring. Mulch the soil heavily, and plant nasturtiums or radishes near your plants to repel the pests. Try growing resistant varieties, and/or cover your crops with with a floating row cover. You'll either need to hand pollinate, or remove the row cover when the plants blossom so insects can visit the flowers. Any or all of the above will help reduce the population of cucumber beetles in your garden next year.

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