The entire eastern US complained this year about the Mexican bean beetle infestation. It’s one of the most undesirable and destructive insect pests of beans.
My uncle lives in Kentucky and he faced with a Mexican Bean beetles infestation where all the veggies looked like there were chopped with a paper hole punch. These leaf eater pests ruin the entire plant by creating round holes into the leaves and the plant loses its ability to photosynthesize.
As a matter of fact, most people call it a lady bug but it is not when it attacks your garden. It is a harmful pest! Actually, it took 2 weeks like my uncle to identify the problem. At first, he thought a nasty rabbit is nibbling his veggies but, in the end, the damage was done by the fake lady bug.
How to get rid of Mexican Bean Beetles?
- Handpick larvae and beetles, and destroy them.
- Check undersides of leaves, especially from early spring until June, to look for and remove eggs and pupal stage larvae.
- Bring in beneficial insects! Lady bugs love to make a Mexican bean beetles buffet, so bring it on! You can purchase a colony online.
- Prepare a mixture made of 3 parts of neem oil and 1 part of water, pour it in a spray bottle, and sprinkle the solution over the plant leaves.
- Check with your local Pest Control for a list of approved pesticides and insecticides if the problem gets out of hand.
How to prevent Mexican Bean Beetles?
- Bush beans are less susceptible than pole beans, and also require less maintenance. Early crops are also less susceptible than late crops, as the most Mexican bean beetle damage occurs in midsummer.
- Rosemary is said to help deter Mexican bean beetles. Consider planting some of this herb around susceptible plants. Marigold might also be helpful.
- Clean up your garden at the end of the season, and till soil in the spring before planting. This will unearth any overwintering adult beetles.