An infestation of these spotted or striped greenish yellow beetles can spell doom for cucumbers and other squash-family plants. Feeding on tender leaves and flowers, they can stunt or even kill plants before they become established. And if that’s not bad enough, the beetles also transmit serious diseases including bacterial wilt and squash mosaic virus that can ruin fruiting vines.
The beetles are 1/8–1/4″ long and fly away quickly when disturbed. Adult cucumber beetles overwinter in plant debris and emerge in spring after the last frost. They lay orange eggs at the base plants. Larvae, which are white with brown heads, chew on roots.
In northern areas there is one generation per year. In the South and mild western regions, two or more generations are typical. They are not a garden problem in the far West.
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