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a, Adult beetle; b, underground stem of cucumber seedling cut
open to show larva (grub, or "worm") feeding within; c, small
cucumber plants showing characteristic feeding by adult beetles
on leaves and stems. (a about 8 times natural size; b about twice
natural size; c about three-fourths natural size.)
(See other side for habits ind control)
Burea'i ,, En-',*rr.,-I' an Pl an, I r ir.i :i-ne
i'..,- s :,-, .l .fr., --.: A :. ,,.-. Picture Sheet N o. 7
STRIPED CUCUMBER BEETLE
(Diabrotica vilttata (F.))
The striped cticuniher )eetle, which is one of the most familiar insects to the
gardener in the Eastern and Central States, is also oiee o()f the most troublesome.
The b)eetihs invade cuicumitber, squash, and meclmi plantings almost overnight and
,fte l hlestroy tiny seedlings beforee tile- push through the soil. The destruction
1,f N4oIing plants. iltVe seriolus iinjtiry t)o older plants (tile to partial girdling of the
stills, a. 11d the co('usupl dtion )f portiimis of the leaves tdo not comprise all the danm-
aUr ( caused by tihis imllect. II addition, the beetles transmit certain serious plant
distasts, sluch as bacterial wilt and mImosaic disease. The grubs, or larvae, live on
tlie roots and redUce tile vitality of tle plants.
Tlhie adult beetle spends the winter in protected places, under plant debris,
and starts to emierge in the spring about thle time the haws are blooming, and usu-
ally before tlhe cucurbits are up in the garden. About the time the earlier seedlings
are fishing tIhriough thle s til, the beetles migrate from wild plants, including haw
and cral) apple bloss(,iis and giant ragweed, to the cultivated fields. The migra-
tion to cucurhits is continuous for many days. After feeding for sonime time, the
beetles crawl into cracks in the soil about the plant and deposit eggs. The young
larvae, or grubs, which hatch from tlhe eggs, feed on the roots for about a month,
lpupl)ate in the soil, and emerge as adult beetles.
The control of the cucumber beetle requires care and industry. Although the
I)eetles are very susceptible to ordinary insecticides, their habits make the pro-
tection of plants difficult. The beetles feed first on the stems and the under sides
of the cotyledons of seedlings, and spend much time in crevices of the soil, thus
making it difficult to reach then. Also there is a continuous influx of the beetles
to tlihe fields for a period of several weeks. As tihe plants grow, the beetles congre-
gate on the under side of the leaves, which are prone on the ground.
The best method to prevent injury on young plants is the use of covers, or
caps. Any cover which permits sufficient light and air and excludes the beetle is
satisfactory, and suburban gardeners often make inexpensive protectors from cheap
materials. Generally, however, insecticidal or repellent materials, of which there
is a wide choice, are used. Satisfactory results are more dependent on the timely,
frequent, and thorough application of dusts or sprays than on the choice of the
The materials mentioned below have been used successfully.
Dusts: Calcium arsenate, 1 pound, and gypsum, 9 pounds; rotenone dusts
coiitaining 0.75 percent or more of rotenone, made with derris, cube, timbo, or
other rotiimive-co(itaiiiing roots and a finely "ground carrier, such as tale, clay,
tobacco) dust, or glpsiii: pyrethrumin dust containing 0.2 to 0.5 percent of pyre-
thrins; a dust nixtture coisisting of calcium arsenate 20 pounds, copper oxyvchlo-
ride (corntaiiing 25 percent of insoluble copper) 12 pounds, and talc 68 pounds.
Splras: Bordeaux mixture (3-4-50) plus. 2 poinmdls of calcium arsenate per
50 galloiis of spray; one of the rotenone-containing roots (derris, cube, timbo,
etc.) and water, to contain 0.015 percent rotenone.
Tin making the aplhicatio(ns, keep in mind the following:
Protect the yoiuiiz seedlings; al)pply the dust or spray thoroughly so as to cover
the plants and the ',,il completely and to drive the material into the crevices about
the stems. The injury to tihe steins at and below the surface of the soil is prob-
ably the most serious damage done by the beetles.
Repeat thlie applicati,,,ns after rains, and as often as necessary, to keep plants
free of beetles until the runners are at least 18 inches long.
Continue the treatments as long as beetles are numerous.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 09082 4656
April 1941 TU. S. Government Printing Office
For sale by the SupetI)rinte(ndent o)f Documents, Washington, 1). C'.--Price 5 cents
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