Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Controlling Cucumber Beetles Organically

Date:
February 17, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
As the popularity of organic produce increases with consumers, growers need more options to manage pests naturally. Two researchers have investigated options for reducing the presence of cucumber beetles. These pests damage crops by eating the roots, shoots, and flowers, and transmit the bacterial wilt pathogen.

As the popularity of organic produce increases with consumers, growers need more options to manage pests naturally.

John D. Sedlacek and Gary R. Cline (retired) of the Land Grant Program at Kentucky State University led a research project designed to investigate options for reducing the presence of cucumber beetles. These pests damage crops by eating the roots, shoots, and flowers, and transmit the bacterial wilt pathogen. The study, published in the American Society of Horticultural Science journal HortTechnology, compares several practices in watermelon and muskmelon crops.

In 2002, watermelon was grown on black plastic mulch with the exception of one group, which was grown on Al-plastic, an aluminum coated plastic mulch previously linked to reduced cucumber beetle densities on squash. Another plot of watermelons was planted with companion plants thought to repel cucumber beetles. A third group was planted with a different set of companion plants that seem to attract insects that prey on cucumber beetles. Sticky traps stationed among the plants collected cucumber beetles, which were counted and removed on a weekly basis. The watermelon yields were not adversely affected by the Al-plastic nor by the companion plants.

More beetles were collected in the control and Al-plastic groups than the companion plant groups. Similar numbers of beetles were trapped in repellent plant groups and beneficial insect-attracting plant groups, suggesting these plants may be more valuable as a physical barrier to the beetles' movement than for their attractive or repellent properties.

In 2003, the study was replicated using muskmelons. Al-plastic was included again, but the companion plant groups were combined to include beetle-repelling radishes and predator-insect-attracting buckwheat. Other treatments included use of rowcovers and the organic insecticide PyGanicฎ. The separate Al-plastic and companion plant groups increased muskmelon yields of 75% and 66%, respectively, compared to the control. Rowcovers also significantly increased yield. The number of trapped beetles was significantly higher in the control group than in any other.

Then, in 2004, the study was repeated, but this time the insecticide group was replaced by a combination of Al-plastic and companion plants. Muskmelon weights varied significantly among all groups, with the greatest weights coming from the Al-plastic and companion plant combined groups with rowcovers. Weights in the Al-plastic-only group were greater than in the companion plant-only group.

All of the treatments, except for the insecticide, significantly increased yields compared to control groups. It appeared that some treatments, such as companion plants, may have reduced beetle populations by affecting adults, while others, such as the Al-plastic, may have affected beetle larvae still in the soil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gary R. Cline, John D. Sedlacek, Steve L. Hillman, Sharon K. Parker and Anthony F. Silvernail. Organic Management of Cucumber Beetles in Watermelon and Muskmelon Production. HortTechnology, 18: 325-544 (2008) [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Controlling Cucumber Beetles Organically." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217141439.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, February 17). Controlling Cucumber Beetles Organically. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217141439.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Controlling Cucumber Beetles Organically." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090217141439.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins