I discovered what look like mexican bean beetle larvae eating my cucumber...

Asked July 25, 2013, 12:09 AM EDT

I discovered what look like mexican bean beetle larvae eating my cucumber leaves. I've never seen them before and they are doing quite a bit of damage. They don't seem to be bothering my stringbeans as much. Any suggestions as to the best way to control them?

Howard County Maryland cucumbers vegetables squash beetle

1 Response

Your insect is actually a larva of the squash lady beetle. Unlike other lady beetles, however, this one is not beneficial and will feed on the underside of leaves of cucurbits in your vegetable garden. Look for clusters of yellow eggs, usually found on the underside of leaves. If you find egg clusters, destroy them or simply pick off the leaves and dispose of them. Flick the larvae into a cup of soapy water. The adult looks like other lady bird beetles, but 'she' is yellow and has seven black spots on each wing. Hand picking and egg destruction is usually adequate to control this minor pest.
If you spot an adult and can take a good photograph, we would like to use it in an upcoming newsletter.
LS