Spotted Cucumber Beetle Location
It is found throughout the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, increasing in importance towards the South.
The spotted cucumber beetle, aka Southern Corn Root-worm or Budworm, belongs to the same genus as the striped beetle but is a much more general feeder. As an adult, it works on at least 200 vegetables, flowers, weeds and grasses, and as a larva, feeds on roots of corn, beans, small grains, wild grasses. An almost identical variety, often called the Diabrotica beetle, is an important flower and vegetable pest in California.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle Appearance and Habits
The greenish-yellow beetles, 1/4 in. long with 12 conspicuous black spots, hibernate in protected places under rubbish or at the base of plants. In spring females lay their eggs just below the ground surface on or near young corn plants; yellow-white worm-like larvae with brown heads hatch to burrow into roots and bud. The corn either makes poor growth or dies. As they feed, the larvae also may disseminate bacteria causing corn wilt.
Although spotted cucumber beetles do not cause as much damage to cucurbit foliage as the striped beetles they, too, are carriers of cucumber wilt and mosaic. They are also particularly destructive to flowers, being a common pest of dahlias, cosmos, chrysanthemums and other late bloomers.
How to Manage Spotted Cucumber Beetles
Avoid injury to the corn crop by planting late on land plowed
the previous fall. For cucurbits follow directions given for striped cucumber beetles.