Spoiler Alert: There will be beetles. There will be worms. This is, after all, a series about garden pests. You weren’t expecting rainbows and unicorns, were you? Today I’ve got a twofer for you on this third day of the 26-day blogging from A to Z challenge . Two garden pests in one. It’s your lucky day.
The Corn Rootworm is the spineless, squirmy, slimy larval stage of the common Cucumber Beetle. Both the worm and the beetle are particularly nasty garden dwellers that are up to NO GOOD from the moment they enter your garden until the moment you get to flatten them under your muckers. The rootworm larvae feed on the tender roots of corn, soybean and any other vegetable hosts they encounter. And did I mention? They are voracious!
The larvae eventually morph through three stages before pupating in the soil.
When the adults emerge from the soil as cucumber beetles, they immediately chew and feed on the leaves and stem of any surviving vegetation not killed by the larval rootworm.
Adult beetles will eat stems, leaves, flowers, and the vegetables on the plant. This is one of the most common beetles found in the home garden and flower beds. The beetle gravitates toward cucumbers, melons, squash and pumpkins but they are indiscriminate and will feed on any available vegetation. Control the pest with pyrethrum-containing insecticides and remove old, rotting organic matter and debris from your garden.
Don’t let the “cute little ladybug” act fool you! This poser is up to NO good and wants to spoil your harvest.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos by J. Obermeyer
This article is the third in a series of 26 consecutive articles, as part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for the whole month of April. Tomorrow, I’ll post an article with a title that begins with the letter “D”… So goes the rest of the alphabet, through the end of the month.
In closing, I have a little challenge for you. Because the letters “X” “Q” and “Z” pose a challenge of their own, send me a title idea beginning with those letters. If I choose to write your title, I’ll send you a small prize to show my appreciation. Use the comments box below, or email your title to firstname.lastname@example.org