Cucumber beetles are one of the most destructive pests in gardens, and they’re especially fond of cucumbers and squash. The good news is that there are a number of natural ways to get rid of them.
In this blog post, we’ll share some of the most effective methods for getting rid of cucumber beetles organically.
Use trap crops
One way to keep cucumber beetles away from your main crop is to plant a trap crop. Trap crops are plants that attract pests away from your other plants.
When the trap crop is infested with cucumber beetles, you can then remove it and dispose of it before the beetles have a chance to spread to your other plants. Some good trap crops for cucumber beetles include nasturtiums, radishes, and tansy.
Cucumber beetles are most active in late spring and early summer, so one way to avoid them is to plant your cucumbers and squash as early as possible. This will give the plants a head start on growth before the beetles arrive in full force.
Just be sure to protect your early-planted crops with row covers until they’re well established.
Use beneficial insects
There are a number of beneficial insects that will help control cucumber beetle populations in your garden, including ladybugs, lacewings, and soldier beetles. You can purchase these beneficial insects online or at garden centers, or you can encourage them to take up residence in your garden by planting flowering plants that attract them.
Some good options include dill, fennel, and yarrow.
Make a homemade insecticidal soap spray
You can make an inexpensive and effective insecticidal soap spray at home using only a few ingredients: water, dish soap, and neem oil. Simply mix together 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of dish soap and 1 teaspoon of neem oil, then transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and use it on your plants as needed.
Reapply every 7-10 days for best results.
Cucumber beetles can wreak havoc in gardens, but there are thankfully a number of ways to get rid of them naturally. Try using trap crops, planting early, releasing beneficial insects into your garden, or making an insecticidal soap spray at home using dish soap and neem oil.
With patience and perseverance, you can get rid of cucumber beetles organically.