Cucumber Beetle

Cucumber Beetle

Cucumber beetle. A bad bug when found in your garden. Kill them!

The spotted, striped and banded cucumber beetles are very harmful to cucurbits (members of the gourd family, including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squashes), particularly young plants. Beetles commence feeding on plants as soon as they emerge and either kill the plants or greatly slow growth. In cucurbit plantings throughout South Carolina, beetles have been observed entering the soil through cracks and feeding on seedlings below the soil surface. Beetles are present throughout the growing season and feed on all parts of the plant including the flowers and fruit.

Cucumber beetles also transmit bacterial wilt of cucurbits. This disease overwinters (survives the winter) in the intestines of the beetles and is scattered from plant to plant as the beetles feed. Infected plants eventually wilt and die. Many new varieties of cucurbits have resistance to bacterial wilt. Cucumber beetle larvae (immature forms) feed on the roots and bore into both roots and stems of cucumber plants.

Resource: Clemson University Cooperative Extension


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