Mon 9 Feb, 2009 10:20 pm
Every year in my garden I get an infestation of stripped cucumber beetles and spotted cucumber beetles. Do you know of a way to get rid of them or keep them away? I would prefer an organic method but I have tried companion planting and row covers. They were not effective.
If bad bugs are a problem (unlike lady bugs or other good bugs who feed on the bad ones) here's a simple organic potion to keep them away. In a blender mix 4 cloves of garlic with 1 chopped onion. Place this mixture in a large glass jar and add 2 cups of water. Add 2 teaspoons of bottled hot pepper sauce, stir ingredients together and steep for 2 days. Strain the mixture and add one tablespoon mild liquid dish detergent. Then dilute with 5 cups of water. Using a mister, spray plants once a week and watch the bugs retreat. See pests and disease.
Adult beetles migrate to wooded, bushy areas, crawling under bark and litter to overwinter. Removing leaf litter back to bare ground and cultivate soil if possible over winter to expose adult beetles. Unfortunately these beetles have a fairly decent range so may fly to your property from as much as a mile away. A period of several years not growing squash cucumber may reduce infestations to managable levels. Unfortunatly I believe these beetles also feed on beans peas as well.
Natural predators include soldier beetles, tachinid flies, braconid wasps and certain nematodes.
Will that work for Japanese beetles, Gus?