Christie Shee

Department of Entomology

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Figure 2. Beetles are attracted to the color yellow and to the lures within the jugs. Once they find their way inside, they have difficulty finding their way out, eventually falling into the soapy water to die.

Have you ever wondered how striped cucumber beetles manage to find your cucurbits every year? Striped cucumber beetles rely on sight and smell to find food. They are particularly attracted to the color yellow and to scents produced by cucurbit flowers and male striped cucumber beetles. This summer we studied how we could use lures that imitate cucurbit flowers and live beetles for mass trapping with yellow gallon jugs. On one farm, 16 traps captured 2,363 striped cucumber beetles from late May through early September (Figure 1). The vast majority of these beetles were captured in May and August. In May, the beetles were most attracted to the control jugs, but in August, beetles preferred jugs containing live beetles and floral lures. If you place traps early in the season—before or as striped cucumber beetles begin to emerge—we recommend using only yellow jugs without any lures or live beetles. If[Read More…]