Bean Beetle – Organic Control

Q: My green beans and butter beans have been devastated by the Mexican bean beetle. I tried picking them off, but after being out of town for several days, they had taken over. I try to avoid chemical pesticides but I’m desperate.

A: The Mexican bean beetle can be devastating to beans and peas. Both the bright yellow bristly larvae and the ladybug-like adults chew leaves into tatters. For organic control, consider covering each plant with floating row cover from the time seedlings emerge until plants are blooming. You can also spray the undersides of leaves with neem oil (Bio-neem, etc) or spinosad (Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew, etc).

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