A Trap Crop + Insecticide Approach for Cucumber Beetle Management
Spotted and striped cucumber beetles not only cause feeding damage in Iowa cucurbit crops, but also transmit a bacterium that causes bacterial wilt. Turks Turban (2003) or 'Black Beauty' zucchini (2004) was used alone and in combination with insecticides as a trap crop for these pests in muskmelon. We hypothesized that the beetles would preferentially feed on highly attractive trap crop rows interspersed among the melon crop. Insecticide applications to these rows should more effective than applications to the entire field, and may be sufficient for control in the entire field.
Materials and Methods
- At Iowa State University Horticulture Farm (Gilbert, IA) and Muscatine Island Research Station (Fruitland, IA), three small fields of 'Athena' muskmelons were established at least 1000 feet from one another to evaluate the efficacy of a trap crop alone and in combination with an insecticide.
- In two of the fields, a row of trap crop was established between every five rows of muskmelons.
- The insecticides were applied weekly for the treated trap crop field.
- As a control, only muskmelons were planted in the third field.
- Striped and spotted beetle populations were recorded each week on five plants per row.
- The number of plants with bacterial wilt were recorded each week.
- The number and weight of melons harvested per plot was measured at maturity.