Monday, August 17, 2015

Cucumber Beetles and Neem Oil

Recognize this guy?

Yes, the spotted Cucumber beetle, and  lets not forget his cousin, the striped cucumber beetle.  They have moved into our garden big time! These little guys are everywhere... first on the beets eating the greens, but now they have moved into the pumpkin patch. And to make matters worse, they seem to love the skin of a maturing pumpkin! We have found several pumpkins with the skin nearly totally eaten off, showing a glowing white ball.

So, time for action!  We are starting with a trial of Neem Oil. We sprayed the entire pumpkin patch yesterday, so over the next few days we can tell how well it works.

Neem is a natural seed oil that "confuses" bugs, presumably by interfering with their hormones. It is a slow process that does not directly kill the bugs, but they will "forget" to reproduce, or even eat, and thereby die off within one generation.

Stay tuned to see how it works out!

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