- Author: Maureen Clark
A couple of years ago I had a bad time with the cucumber beetle eating away at my beloved Dahlias. They were flying around eating up my flowers every day. Arrrrg. So, I decided to come up with a solution for the following year. And it worked beautifully!
The Spotted Cucumber Beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi) is what I was battling. These little critters look a little like a lady beetle, but are green with black spots and more elongated. There is also the Striped Cucumber Beetle (Aclymma trivittatum), which is grayish or white with long black stripes. These beetles like to eat cucurbit crops. Beetles can transmit Erwinia tracheiphila, the causal agent of bacterial wilt, to some cucurbits.
I created my own yellow sticky traps. I took Yellow plastic party cups, I carefully drilled small holes in the bottom of them. Put small zip ties through holes and secured them to garden stakes. I put 2 -3 cups per stake. Each stake had cups at different intervals.
I researched and found out that you can use spices to deter insects. I used Cinnamon sticks that I had in my spice cabinet. Cinnamaldehyde is an organic compound. It's what gives cinnamon it's flavor and odor. The pale, yellow liquid occurs in the bark of cinnamon trees and other species in the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamaldehyde has been known to attract the beetles. Thus, the beetle will come to the sticky trap and be stuck.
I took the cinnamon sticks and broke them up into small pieces with a hammer. Then I put them in a small jar with about 3 - 4 Tbl. of olive oil and shook it up for several days. I strained the cinnamon chunks out. After that, I coated the inside of the yellow cups with olive oil. Next, I got some makeup remover pads and soaked them in the cinnamon solution for a few minutes and put them inside the yellow cups. I placed the stakes in and around the Dahlia garden. Tada! Super easy and super a solution!
I also have plants that will attract beneficial insects. These are some of my favorites. Cosmos, Marigolds, Sunflower, Alyssum, Phacelia, and Dill.
I hope this helps you in your garden, if you're battling beetle bugs. Say that 10 times fast.