Question Can anyone help with this pest? (Identification / control)

Meran

Member
Feb 18, 2020
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Hello. Every time I try to grow Cape Gooseberries (which I absolutely love), this beetle appears in spring/summer and devours the plant. I've had the same problems in two different properties, and I've never seen the beetle on anything else.

The second photo is the larvae stage. Which are rather disgusting, they seem to carry around a lump of what appears to be faeces on their back.

I've been picking the beetles off and squashing them, and squashing their eggs and larvae, but I just can't keep up. They're extremely prolific. I need to find some other method of control.

Does anyone have any ideas?
 

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Meran

Member
Feb 18, 2020
5
2
18
Brisbane
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Yeah that looks like it. Interesting that I've never seen them in any Cucurbit plant I've grown though.
I'm giving the Eco Oil a try, and see how that goes. Manually squashing them is too much to keep up with.

The vermicompost use mentioned in that Wikipedia article is interesting, I'll give that a go too. Even if it doesn't help with the beetles, it'll still be beneficial.
 

daveb

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Oct 22, 2020
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striped cucumber beetle get some fine netting to cover plants to keep them out some diatomaceous earth or rock dust from local stone crusher to dust the plants with so that larvae and early stage of then get cut by the sharp edges. another option old timers used was a sacrificial plant like baby blue hubbard squash , they seem to like it the most. some garden centers or stores also sell sticky traps that look like yellow ribbon that helps trap them. the eggs can over winter so any plants infected with them should not be composted burn them over the same row as they were in to help destroy the eggs in top layer of soil. they actual bore into the stems to lay the eggs most times. they can infect numerous types of plants.
one option to help soapy water tends to kill the beetles if sprayed with it 2 tbl of dish soap in a quart or liter of water. i use a mix tomatoes crush fill a mason jar with tomatoes leafs and stems crush and bruised fill to cover the with 2 to 3 cups or more of boiling water and steep overnight strain water into separate jar add water to make a qt . add the dish soap agatate to mix completely. spray direct on the beetles from a squirt bottle on mist or fine setting. they suffocate cause the soap clogs their breathing ways and also dehydrates them. add more soap if needed. after the beetles fall to ground and die make sure to give plant a light rinse if you used heavier amount of soap.
then dust with diatomaceous earth as mentioned above top and bottom of the leafs and stems
 

daveb

Member
Oct 22, 2020
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look for a sticky trap called viva trap its a bag trap and lure combo. or Faicuk sticky traps, i know amazon carries them
 

Meran

Member
Feb 18, 2020
5
2
18
Brisbane
Climate
Sub-Tropical
Just a little update on this. I ended up having no Eco Oil on hand, but had some Neem Oil, so I gave that a go, and it seemed to work well on the larvae. I manually squashed adults as I found them, and sprayed when I saw larvae on the leaves, and it has been controlling them well.
I'll keep that soap/tomato mixture in mind if it gets bad again, but I'm not finding many around at the moment, so pretty easy to just squash any I do find.
 
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