bean bugs

Pests & Pathogens

bean beetle 2 bean beetle

I have a very ugly yellow spiny bug eating my bean leaves. They are all over the leaves and are completely eating them down to the veins. Yuck.

A fellow gardener recommended a homemade spray that she has used successfully: Mix 12 garlic cloves, 12 very hot chili peppers (habenero would be best), 2 Tbs Murphy’s Oil soap, 2 Tbs salad oil and food process til pureed. Filter through cheese cloth. Dilute with 1 gallon of water and spray on the plants.

I am not sure I have the energy to mix this up myself. I think I will head over to the garden store tomorrow and see what they have for organic sprays.

8 Comments. Leave new

  • What about a squirt of Dr. Bronners with water in a spray bottle? That's what we use. 🙂

  • Kathy- my dad sprinkles lime on the leaves- he has very few holes in his leaves when he does that.

  • Be careful, they can decimate your plants very quickly. Within days actually. I noticed them on a Sunday, by Thursday the leaves were skeletonized. Had to pull the plants. 🙁
    Started a new batch though and so far so good!

  • if they look like this picture, they are mexican bean beetle larvae. nasty. best way to avoid them is to be vigilant about hand-picking the adults early on in the season. cold comfort now, i know. good luck. let us know what the garden center recommends, and how it works out.

  • whoops, sorry, forgot to post the link to the picture. here it is.

  • I get them every year. Not only on the beans, but the squash and cucumbers as well. Best thing I found is to squish every adult and larvae I see. It's unpleasant but effective. If you start early in the season, they can be "manageable". I let them get established the first year (as I didn't know what they were) and they devastated my garden.

  • Next year, plant some borage. It's a deterrent to the bean beetle. We haven't seen any since we started doing this three years ago.

  • REALLY! I have a GIANT borage plant in the middle of my beans. It seems to me the bean beetles were on it too. I almost sprayed it with Captain Jack, but there are so many bees on it that I didn't.

    I thought the borage was maybe attracting the beetles. It doesn;t appear that the borage is being eaten, but the beans at the end of the row closest to the borage are most heavily eaten. I will have to post a photo.

    I don't remember if I wrote already that the spray I used worked well. After 2 days, there are only a few left. I was able to get up my courage and squish these. Today i went and checked and I don't see any bugs and the new leaves seem good.

    I'm sure more will come, and I will make sure to keep up with squishing them, as unpleasant as that is.


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