They pupate in the soil,
and the beetles, 1/5 inch long yellow with 3 black stripes, emerge in midsummer to feast on leaves, stems, blossoms of cucurbits and some legumes.
They are also very fond of Chinese lantern. In the South there are 2 or
more generations; in the North, beetles of the first generation winter in
trash around the garden and settle on young vines the minute they appear aboveground. Some harbor in their bodies over winter cucumber-
wilt bacteria, infecting seedlings as they feed. They also spread the virus
of cucumber mosaic.
Control. Use Hotkaps or other protectors for young plants. Keep older
vines dusted with rotenone, lindane, methoxychlor. Do not use dusts
with DDT or sulfur on cucurbits for some varieties are severely injured.
The Spotted Cucumber Beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardt)
and the Western Spotted Cucumber Beetle (D. undecimpunctata) are
greenish yellow with 12 black spots on the back. They are general feeders,
often doing more damage to ornamentals than to vegetables. They like
cosmos, shasta daisy, roses, and various light-colored blooms, but can be
controlled with lindane or DDT.
Very small, nearly round beetles, black, brown, or grayish,
that jump like a flea and eat tiny holes in leaves that look like
shot holes. In my garden it is practically impossible to set out cabbage,
eggplant, tomato, or pepper without having the seedlings immediately
riddled with hundreds of minute holes. I also find forget-me-not and some
other ornamentals perforated in the same way.
There are many species: the potato and eggplant flea beetles are black,
1/16 inch long; the sweet potato flea beetle is the same size but bronzy;
the striped cabbage and sinuate-striped flea beetles are a little larger, 1/12
inch long, with a crooked yellow stripe on each wing cover; the greenish
black spinach flea beetle is the largest, 1/5 inch long. Flea beetles are vectors of early blight of potatoes, bacterial wilt of corn. In most species
adults hibernate in garden trash.
Control. Use rotenone spray or dust for plants near edible stage, DDT,
lead arsenate, or lindane for others.
FULLER ROSE BEETLE (Pantomorus godmani).
This grayish-brown weevil,
1/3 inch long, has a short, broad snout and a white diagonal stripe
on each side. It does not fly but climbs up plants at night to notch leaves
in from the margin in true weevil fashion. Found only in greenhouses in
the North, it is an outdoor pest in the South, feeding on flowers as well
as leaves of camellia, azalea, rose, and many other ornamentals, as well
as citrus. Legless white larvae work on the roots of blackberries, rasp-
berries, and other members of the rose family.