Adult beetles are shiny with black heads, long antennae, and about 0.25 inch long. Larvae are whitish
and slender with three pairs of short legs; the head and tip of the abdomen are darker. Adults may be
striped or spotted, depending upon species.
Identification of species | Life cycle
Adults feed on the leaves of many vegetables as well as on soft fruit. Shoots and blossoms may also be
consumed. Cucumber beetles may also spread cucumber mosaic virus or wilts in cucurbits. Larvae feed exclusively
on roots, but do not generally damage garden plants, although corn may occasionally be damaged.
Management of cucumber beetles is difficult. Most older plants can support substantial numbers without
serious damage. The best strategy for most vegetable gardens may be to place protective
cloth over emerging
plants and remove it when plants are old enough to tolerate damage. On stone-fruit trees, early harvest
may be the only option. Various general
predators are known to attack cucumber beetles.
spotted cucumber beetle
beetles may chew holes in leaves