Cucumber beetles, Colorado potato bugs, squash beetles, flea beetles, etc...

Asked June 13, 2016, 10:00 PM EDT

I had lots of Cucumber beetles, Colorado, potato bugs, squash beetles, flea beetles and Japanese beetles in my garden last year which consisted of tomatoes, cucumber, squash, zucchini, water melons, cantelope, yukon gold potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, and assorted peppers. My garden did pretty good despite the presence of these pest untill late augest when everything started to shrivel up turning brown from the bottom up and eventually dying. My question is what can i do to prevent this from happening again this year as i have started to see the usual suspects again.

Chesterfield County Virginia

1 Response

The many insects that feed on our vegetable gardens may require several different techniques for control. The Extension Service recommends a process called Integrated Pest Management, information found in this publication from Virginia Tech. The first step is usually hand picking the insects and disposing of them. This often works to reduce the population enough that the plants can produce a crop. Organic or non-organic pesticides are also used to take care of more extensive infestations or to prevent the spread of diseases by the insects. The Virginia Tech Pest Management Guide gives excellent information on both organic and non-organic methods to reduce the damage from these pests. You can find the section on home vegetable gardens at this website. If you choose to use a pesticide, please be sure to read and follow the label directions carefully. The information there is for your protection as well as protection of the environment.

If you have further questions on this subject after looking over the above publications, please use the reply feature within this email or call the Chesterfield Extension Office at 804-751-4401. Thanks for using Ask an Expert.