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Friday, July 23, 2010

Cucumber Beetle on My Beans?


I didn't know what this little yellow insect was when I made Keith hold still so I could snap a picture, but thanks to Google image search, I have now identified it as a cucumber beetle.  A spotted cucumber beetle, to be exact. 

According to the experts, cucumber beetles got their name from their tendency to be found on cucurbit leaves and flowers.  The last time I checked, green beans were not part of the cucurbit family.  So what was this bug doing on my bean flower?  I suppose it's possible that it was just enjoying a rest stop en route to cucurbitsville - I do have cucumbers and squash in my garden - but it was crawling around the bean flowers for a while and it didn't look like it had any plans to leave the bean area anytime soon. 

Could cucumber beetles have done this to my bean plants, or is this masterpiece a courtesy of some other unsavory garden pest?  Do any of you readers know if cucumber beetles are exclusive to cucurbits, or if they sometimes venture out to other plants like beans?


Oh, and in case anyone's wondering, I made sure to get rid of this particular cucumber beetle by relocating it to the concrete patio and stepping on it mercilessly.  I know you can get the job done easier by simply dropping the bug in soapy water, but it was more satisfying this way.  Much more.

12 comments:

Momma_S said...

Egh, soapy water is overrated... I prefer the using the "step & spread" method. hehehe

vrtlarica said...

I have never seen this bug before. Maybe some caterpillars did all the damage on the beans?

debiclegg said...

I don't know if it did the damage but I have seen that bug in my garden, he wasn't on the cucurbits, and I have the same damage on my beans. Hmmmm.... let me know what you find out.

BTW... EG will be very proud of you!! CARNAGE!!!

Annie's Granny said...

Soapy water for big bugs and worms, the foot, fingers or point of the trowel for smaller ones. No way could I bring myself to step on a 4" long horn worm, although I did accidentally step on a giant slug once, on the Oregon coast. That was just nasty!

I have a lot of lacy leaves in my garden, but the only critters I've found are earwigs and pill bugs. I have no idea who the hungry ones are.

GrafixMuse said...

Google "Bean Leaf Beetle" and see what you think. I'm not sure though because I don't see the little triangle on its upper back. But the type of leaf damage looks similar.

thyme2garden said...

momma_s - step and spread, I like it! Kinda gross, but still very satisfying!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - I actually don't have that many caterpillars in my garden, at least not that many that I've seen yet. Today, I saw lots more of these bugs on my bean plants, so I think they are the culprit.

* * * * *
debiclegg - I'm about 99% sure that these are cucumber beetles, and they are now all over my bean plants (but not on my cucumbers, curiously enough), so I think they have been causing the lacy leaves.

* * * * *
Granny, I didn't think about different "kill" methods for different kinds of pests, but what you said makes good sense. Thanks for the tip!

* * * * *
GrafixMuse, I googled "bean leaf beetle" and the pictures I found look a little different than the bug in my picture. I've now seen many more of them on my beans, and they really look more like the google pictures of cucumber beetles to me. I'm sure they are all related to the same "evil beetle" family. Thanks for letting me know about the bean leaf beetles, though. That's one more pest name I learned today!

Shawn Ann said...

The damage you have on your leaves looks similar to what we have on ours. For us it could be the bean leaf beetles or it could be the japanese beetles or both. Seems to be worse on one kind of bean than the others, but it also hasn't slowed my production just yet! Though some of them are beginning to look pretty bad.

Engineeredgarden said...

That's definitely a spotted cucumber beetle in the picture. It was just out of place - that's all. It happens all the time in my garden...The damage to your leaves is from japanese beetles or grasshoppers.

thyme2garden said...

Shawn Ann - I hope your beans escape any beetle damage! Mine were not so lucky.

* * * * *
Engineeredgarden - thanks for chiming in with your bug expertise (I totally think of you as the bug expert). I'm not so sure that it was out of place, though. Today, I combed through my bean plants (completely lacy-leaved now) and saw lots more of these same beetles as well as a few other kinds. There were no japanese beetles or grasshoppers at the time - just a bunch of different kinds of spotted beetles. I didn't think to take any pictures, because I was in the process of pulling out my bean plants. I really should have for your consultation!

~Holly~ said...

Oh crap! I just saw one on my bean today too! I was thinking to myself "friend or foe". While I was pondering it, I moved on and when I came back he was gone. I guess I'll have to search for him tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up! =0)

Dan Owen said...

Most of the damage suffered out this way was due to the Japanese Beetle. I had hundreds of these guys all over my raised bed for about three weeks. In order to save my crops I used reemay to cover them during this period of time.

thyme2garden said...

Holly - hopefully your bug doesn't cause you as much trouble as mine did. Did you find him again?

* * * * *
Dan Owen - we had some Japanese Beetles, too, but I've only seen them on my basil plants so far. I haven't heard of reemay, but I will look it up.

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