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Eco-friendly Control of Bean Beetles

Holes in the leaves of bean plants mean insects have moved in to share the harvest.  Don’t fret there are some easy ways to manage these pests.

Several insects can feed on bean plants and their pods. The bean leaf beetle, Mexican bean beetle and spotted cucumber beetle are the most common.

The bean beetle is ¼ inch long, yellow-green to red with four black dots on its back. High populations can devastate a planting. Cover plantings with floating row covers to keep the insects off. Firmly secure the edges to prevent the beetles from crawling underneath.

The Mexican bean beetle is a bit larger and can be yellow or coppery brown with 16 black dots. The immature stage, larvae, is orange or yellow, fuzzy and rather hump-backed. Remove and destroy any of the insects and their bright yellow eggs that you find.

A thorough clean up in the fall will reduce future problems.

A bit more information: The spotted cucumber beetle can also be found nibbling on your bean plants. It is long and narrow, yellowish green with black spots. Remove insects as found or use one of the more eco-friendly products like Neem, if needed.

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