|i have bugs that look like ladybugs but instead of being red or reddish/orange, they are more orange/brown. They are eating my the leaves on my yellow squash plants. Not a real heavy infestation - about 6 were on 2 plants but I have several more plants that are not quite as big. Should I be concerned? How can I control them?|
|Lady bugs can be red, orange, brown, tan or white, with or without spots. Ladybugs feed on insects (aphids, mites, etc.) and sometimes pollen or nectar but they don't feed on the leaves. Perhaps what you are seeing are Mexican Bean Beetles. They are about 1/4 to1/3 inch long, and bronze in color with 16 black spots on their backs. They are members of the lady beetle family and closely resemble lady bugs.
The larvae are yellow with rows of black-tipped branched spines growing from their backs. The larvae reach about 1/3 inch in length.
Both adults and larvae feed on the underside of the leaves eating away the tissue between the veins and leaving a lacy, skeletonized leaf.
Adults and larvae may be easily hand-picked from plants, but if this measure is to be used it must be thorough and continuous. If beetle populations become heavy they can be controlled by applying insecticides. To control Mexican bean beetles, products include BioNeem (azadirachtin), pyrethrins and Sevin (carbaryl). Repeat applications will be necessary for season-long control. Always read and follow label directions for mixing and application intervals.