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  • Striped Cucumber Beetle - (Acalymma vittatum)

    Striped Cucumber Beetle - (Acalymma vittatum)

    The small, bright Striped Cucumber Beetle is a common garden insect that feeds on more than just the leaves of its namesake.

    Staff Writer (8/2/2016): A member of the Leaf Beetle family, Striped Cucumber Beetles feed on the soft leafy foliage of garden plants. Despite their name, they do not restrict themselves to cucumber plants. Zucchini and squash varieties, melons, and gourds are equally tasty. A few beetles are not harmful to vegetable production and backyard gardens can still obtain good harvests despite the small presence of the insect. The likelihood of the population growing rapidly is great, however, and large numbers of the Striped Cucumber Beetle can damage both foliage and fruit of food plants. They may also transmit the vector for bacterial wilt, a disease that decimates cucumber plants and their relatives.

    Strategies for removing a Striped Cucumber Beetle problem are numerous. Pesticides application can protect the plant and prevent future outbreaks. Organic pest control options include delayed planting, covering plants with row covers that allow light and rain, use of sticky kaolin clay, planting of trap or decoy crops, and manual removal. Yellow sticky traps, like those used to catch house flies, are also available at garden supply stores. Removing plants infected with bacterial wilt down to the roots will help control the spread of that disease to other healthy plants.

    Adults will overwinter in sheltered areas like buildings, or wood piles. Once weather begins to warm in the spring, they are quick to locate food sources. Females lay fertilized eggs at the base of the plant at the soil line. Eggs hatch and the larvae eat the roots of the plant, pupate underground and emerge as adults in late summer/early autumn.

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    Details of the:
    Striped Cucumber Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Striped Cucumber Beetle
    Scientific Name: Acalymma vittatum

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Chrysomelidae
           Genus: Acalymma
            Species: vittatum

    Size (Adult, Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.20in to 0.31in)

    Identifying Colors: yellow, black, orange

    Additional Descriptors: lines, zucchini, squash, flying, chewing

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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