Cucumber Beetles and Corn Rootworms

This post is ratedRated PG which stands for Particularly Gross

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!

Larva feeding on corn root
Larva feeding on corn root

The larvae eventually morph through three stages before pupating in the soil.

Corn Rootworm

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.

Cucumber Beetle Posing as a Ladybug

Cucumber Beetle Posing as a Ladybug

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


7 thoughts on “Cucumber Beetles and Corn Rootworms

  1. Pingback: Kids in Your Garden | runwritedig

  2. LOVE your PG rating! All great info here. Can’t wait to do some more catching up on the series (I’m a gardener! I can handle PG) 😉 Thanks for sharing.

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