What are cucumber beetles?
Cucumber beetles damage garden and
agricultural plants in two ways. Larvae, sometimes
called rootworms, feed on the roots while
adult beetles feed on leaves. Large populations
can cause significant damage in both gardens and
agricultural fields. Spotted
cucumber beetles (right) look superficially like
lady beetles except for color. Cucumber beetles
are yellow/green instead of the orange/red of true
lady beetles. There also is a striped cucumber
beetle with similar life history and control.
For gardeners one of the best controls
against all leaf feeding beetles is to use row
covers when beetles are active in early summer.
Row covers protect young plants from feeding
damage. Neem-based insecticides can also be safely
used to prevent feeding (see Using
Neem Oil in the Garden).