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Cucumbers are one of the best summer vegetable crops that are easy to grow, very versatile, and delicious.
But regardless of how good and how heavy yielding it can be, it is still attacked by pests.
Cucumber pests can cause serious damage to your plants.
That’s why it’s important to know the pests that you might deal with as well as how best to tackle them when encountered.
So keep reading!
Cucumber Plants Pests
Below are the most common cucumber pests that you need to watch out for and their remedies.
Cutworms are a type of pest that destroys the stem of your seedlings. They usually hide in the soil or plant debris.
These pests usually attack vegetables Including cucumbers.
It also infects asparagus, beans, cabbages, carrots, peas, and peppers.
Sometimes, cutworms cause irregular holes on the surface of the fruits.
During the night period, the cutworm larvae are always active while in the day, it is hidden, making it hard to spot the pest.
In order to eliminate the cutworms from your cucumber plants, below are the necessary steps that you must take.
A. Firstly, you need to construct a plastic or foil collar that fits perfectly around the plant stems which goes 3-inches into the soil and three inches above the earth.
B. Do well to visit your garden at night and handpick the larvae that you find in the cucumber plants.
C. Spread diatomaceous earth around the base of your plant.
It will help to create a sharp, uncomfortable barrier for the worms which will force them to crawl out of their hidden place while you remove them.
D. If the plants have been affected badly, then insecticides can be applied to the infected areas.
2. Flea Beetles
Flea beetles are those tiny pests that are around 1.5 to 3 mm long, very shiny and are dark in color.
The young plants are most affected by the flea beetles more easily than the matured ones.
These pests usually are spotted with tiny holes or pits on the leaves.
These pests’ damages might cause the plant growth to be reduced.
If you are faced with types of pest infestation, below are the necessary steps that you have to take in order to get rid of them
A. Use a floating row cover on the plant before the infestation happens, it can help to prevent the emergence of flea beetles.
B. Do well to plant trap crops nearby which will serve as a preventative measure.
C. Apply a layer of mulch under your plants to prevent them from reaching the top of the soil surface.
D. Use either a diatomaceous earth or Neem oil on your plant if you notice symptoms of this pest.
They are an effective measure that will help in controlling the population of the pest while preventing it from spreading.
E. You can also get rid of the flea beetle by using insecticidal soap or other pesticides.
Aphids which are also known as the bane of all gardeners are soft-bodied pests that can usually be spotted on the undersides of leaves, sucking on sap.
They also excrete a sticky, honeydew-like substance that attracts other pests and can oftentimes lead to the growth of other diseases such as powdery mildew.
Aphid is spotted on the plant when the leaves are turning yellowish in color and if noticed and untreated, it will cause the leaves to die off.
Below are the necessary steps that you must take inorder to deal with this peat.
A. In a situation where the plants are sturdy and healthy, you should spray them with a strong jet of water which will knock the aphids off of the leaves.
B. Cut off the branches as well as the leaves that are heavily infested.
C. Try spreading reflective mulches, such as silver-colored plastic, around the base of your plants to help you in deter aphids from landing and feeding on your plants.
D. If it is a serious infection, then treating the plant with insecticides is required to treat the problem. You can also use organic options like insecticidal soap or Neem oil to get rid of the plants.
4. Root-Knot Nematodes
Nematodes refer to microscopic pests that live in the soil.
This type of organism attacks the root of the plant.
There are also some symptoms that include yellowish leaf, premature wilting, and stunted growth.
These common symptoms could mean a number of things.
A. Firstly, you can prevent root rot by watering your plants less often and by making sure that excess water will have a channel that will help it to run off properly so that waterlogging will not become an issue.
B. Another step is to practice crop rotation.
So, If you have a nematode problem in one section of the garden, avoid planting your cucumbers there next season.
You should also till soil between crops, as this helps to prevent nematodes from taking root.
C. Also, good garden hygiene practices, like cleaning tools and boots between plants will help to prevents nematode-infested soil from transferring to other plants.
Thrips are tiny pests that can’t be seen with the naked eye, but the damage they cause can be.
As small as it is, if it nestles into your plants, there can be devastating consequences.
It will penetrate the cells of cucumber plants and munch away which will often result in deformed foliage and wilting leaves.
It can also cause striking silver streaks and patches on leaves, making it difficult for them to photosynthesize.
If not treated, it will kill the cucumber plants.
There are several things that you can do to take care of a thrip infestation such as
A. Avoid planting cucumbers near onions and garlic plants because thrips are attracted to those types of crops.
B. Spread reflective mulches to deter thrips from infesting your plants.
C. Huge infestations can be taken care of by using insecticides, neem oil and several other horticultural oils that are just as effective and completely natural.
Whiteflies are another common pest that plagues several different plants.
It can be found on the undersides of leaves, sucking up sap.
They excrete a honeydew substance that attracts pests and causes the development of several diseases.
When it infects the plant, it weakens the cucumber plants as well as the growth of sooty mold, which will further weaken the plant, stunted growth, and reduced yields.
Sooty mold is a common side effect of a whitefly infestation, and it can result in the death of your cucumber plant.
Below are the remedies such as:
A. Neem oil and other horticultural sprays are a great way to kill these little pets.
So, do well to arm yourself with your trusty spray bottle filled with a neem oil mixture and spray it on the base of the plant.
B. Another natural form of control is the introduction of ladybugs and other predatory insects.
You can introduce them naturally by planting their favorite plants, like marigolds, or you can purchase them from your local nursery.
C. Use floating row covers to avoid whiteflies finding your plants.
D. Spread reflective mulches around the base of your plants to keep whiteflies away from your plants.
E. Do well to keep your garden beds clean to avoid problems and further infections.
7. Cucumber Beetles
Cucumber beetles may be the most common pest, other than aphids, that plagues cucumber plants. Though, it is dependent on your area.
You may face one of the two types of cucumber beetles: the striped cucumber beetle or the spotted cucumber beetle.
Both are extremely harmful to cucumbers and can be quite a challenge to get rid of.
Cucumber beetles feast on the foliage of cucumber plants, leaving holes across leaves and flowers.
Though in extreme cases, these yellow beetles begin to nibble on the plant stems which will eventually kill the plant.
Some symptoms of these pests’ existence in the plant include stunted seedlings and growth, damaged leaves, stems, or petioles, and reduction in the plant strength as well as scars on the fruit.
You can get rid of this pest by spraying neem oil or chemical pesticides on cucumber leaves.
A. You can also cover the plants with a floating row cover after the seeds germinate until they start to flower.
Then, remove it, allowing pollinators to access your plants.
B. Also, you can trap the beetles with yellow sticky traps.
8. Squash Bugs
This type of pest can be extremely damaging, and because they favor so many types of vegetables, they can easily spread which will damage the plant.
The bug sucks on the sap of the leaves they settle on, weakening foliage as they do.
They also inject a toxin into the leaves which causes them to yellow and weaken even further.
This will cause the cucumber plant to begin to wilt, and if left untreated, it will die.
So immediately you notice these symptoms, do well to start the plant treatments
A. Most aphid control methods can help in getting rid of the pest. So you should apply them.
B. Also, good garden hygiene and the correct care stops your cucumber plants from looking even more appealing to squash bugs.
9. Slugs & Snails
Slugs and snails are known as one of the serious problems that worries gardeners.
They devour plants quickly thereby damaging both the veggies and ornamentals.
Also, they prefer garden beds that don’t receive enough air circulation or sunlight.
So, the best way to keep these pests away from your garden is to keep the area dry and free of leaf debris.
The best way to deal with slugs and snails is to prevent them from coming into your garden in the first place.
A. You also need to keep the soil under your cucumber plants dry.
Allow it to dry completely before watering it again.
B. Remove leaf litter that might hold moisture.
C. Take off any pests that you find on your cucumber plants and dispose of them immediately.
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1. Are Cucumbers High In Pesticides?
Cucumbers seem like they should be healthy because they are rich in vitamins B-5, C, and K.
Unfortunately, cucumbers can soak up pesticides, whether from being treated by farmers or by being grown in soil that was treated within the last 100 years.
2. What Is The Best Insect Killer For Cucumber Beetles?
The best insect killer for cucumber beetles is the use of Diatomaceous Earth.
Below are the tips on how to use Diatomaceous Earth:
A. Apply diatomaceous earth sparingly and only use it on plants that are heavily affected by insects.
B. Apply diatomaceous earth when the bees are less likely to be out.
C. Apply diatomaceous earth on the soil around your plants where the pests are more likely to be and bees are not normally found.
3. How Do You Treat Cucumber Leaf Disease?
The best thing is to remove and destroy infected plants immediately.
Focus on preventing it next year by planting only resistant varieties with the disease-resistance code FW on their seed packet.
Soil solarization can help kill the spores in the top few inches of soil.
4. How Do You Keep Cucumber Plants Healthy?
Cucumbers will grow quickly with little care.
So, be sure they receive an inch of water every week.
Make the most of your food-growing efforts by regularly feeding plants with water-soluble plant food.
When the soil is warm, add a layer of straw mulch to keep fruit clean and help keep slugs and beetles away.
5. Should I Water Cucumber Plants Every Day?
Cucumbers perform best with a regular, deep watering once a week or so and with more frequency if the weather is very hot for a period of days.
Inadequate or inconsistent moisture can cause oddly shaped or poor-tasting fruit.
6. What Are The Most Common Pests That Affect Cucumbers?
Aphids, cucumber beetles, whiteflies, and thrips are some of the important insect pests of cucumber.
Common cucumber pests can be prevented if the correct measures are taken.
So if you use these tips effectively, your cucumber plants will be protected from any pests and you will have a nice harvest at the end of the day.
For further questions, do well to leave in the comment section below.