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The striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatum F. Figure 1 is a serious agricultural pest of plants in the family Cucurbitaceae in eastern North America. Dill and Kirby
Striped and spotted cucumber beetles can cause damage in vine crops, but the striped beetle is more common in Wisconsin. Feeding from larvae and adults causes direct damage to roots, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Adults can also vector fusarium wilt and the bacteria, Erwinia tracheiphila.
You know you might have a cucumber beetle problem if your plant leaves are yellowing, wilting, or have holes appearing on them, or if your seedling stems are being chomped on. The beetles swarm on seedlings, feeding on leaves and young shoots, often killing plants; they also attack stems and flowers of older plants and eat holes in fruit. Their feeding can transmit wilt and mosaic viruses to your plants. The beetles can be found across North America, mostly in the West.
If you find that the stems of your seedlings are being eaten off, leaves are yellowing and wilting, and holes are appearing, you may have a striped or spotted cucumber beetle problem. Often, the beetles leave their hibernating sites early in the season mid-April to early Juneand feed on seedlings right as they are emerging, usually killing them. Then their larvae feed on the roots of the host plants.
The striped cucumber beetle Acalymma vittatum is a beetle of the family Chrysomelidae and a serious pest of cucurbit crops in both larval and adult stages. The striped cucumber beetle is a small beetle approximately half a centimeters in length, and characterized by brown-yellow elytra completely covering the abdomen and longitudinally transversed by three thick black stripes. It superficially resembles the western corn rootworm Diabrotica virgiferaanother serious crop pest.
Adult striped cucumber beetle has distinct black and yellow stripes and a black abdomen. Striped and spotted cucumber beetles attack a variety of cucurbit crops, including winter and summer squash, cucumber and watermelon. While cucumber beetle larvae feed on cucurbit roots, adult beetles cause more economically important damage.
The common black and yellow-striped "potato bug" is the most serious insect pest of potatoes. Both the striped beetle and the black-spotted, red larva feed on potato leaves. Their damage can greatly reduce yield and even kill plants.
The western spotted and the western striped cucumber beetles occur throughout California and are major pests of cucurbits; the banded cucumber beetle occurs primarily in southern California. Cucumber beetles overwinter as adults and are active by the time the earliest melons are planted in spring. Adults lay eggs at the base of plants.