Saturday, July 19, 2008

What are these bugs?

This post is a request for help from my readers. I have been really lucky with bugs this year. I think using chemicals in past years has kept all bugs away. That was a real problem for me early on because I had no pollinators. I had to do it myself. I'm thrilled to say that the bees are back. Every morning I have lots of bumblebees and even honeybees buzzing around the blossoms in my garden, pollinating them and helping my garden to grow. However, yesterday I discovered a new bug and this one I'm not so happy about. Here's an enlarged photo I took yesterday of the inside of one of my male pumpkin blossoms:The large insect on top is a bumblebee and he's just doing his job. It's the smaller one down below that has me more worried. Can anyone confirm for me whether this is a striped cucumber beetle? They have suddenly appeared from out of nowhere and this morning there were at least one or two in every single one of my spaghetti squash blossoms and most of the pumpkin blossoms. I've only seen a couple on the cucumbers and nearby melons, but there are bound to be more. I've tried squishing some when I find them, but there are so many and I can't get my fingers into the blossoms without destroying them.

Then this morning as I was checking on them, I discovered this on one of my pumpkin leaves:At first I thought this might be one of the Assassin Bugs I've heard about. But then a quick search on the internet brought up pictures that don't look exactly like this one. Anyone know what it is? Is it a beneficial insect? Has the cavalry arrived to help me battle the cucumber beetles (if that is indeed what they are)?

I want to find an organic way to deal with this, but I do feel like I need to do something quick as there are tons of these bugs covering my garden! Help!

Today's local weather:
High temp: 86 F
Low temp: 72 F
Partly cloudy with scattered thunderstorms in the evening


jacob321 said...

Hi Mama G., I am your husband's cousin Gerry from Kansas. I have seen the bugs invading your pumpkins before. They acutally arrived in our garden when we had pumpkins and cucumbers the same year. The destry the fruit so get rid of them as soon as possible. I used sevin dust to get rid of them in my garden. Unfortuantely the did quite a bit of damage before I used the dust. Good luck and tell J. hi for me. Gerry

Karen said...

The top one is definitely striped cucumber beetle. I found a bunch this year too. I hit them with some very mild organic insecticidal soap and the numbers decreased dramatically. I found a few of them actually "getting it on" on my cucumber vine. Icky! Good luck. The grey one- I can't help you there.

Funny Bitch said...

Yes, that is an assassin bug, there are many types, and they all look similar, but have their own unique look. They are most likely on your produce, feeding on your pests. They are good! But watch out, they can stick ya if cornered!