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Bug killing my cucumber plant. HELP!

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    Hi everyone!

    This is my first post on this forum, although I have been reading it for quite some months now.

    I have a cucumber plant climbing up a trellis. It has been thriving and I have had a good 6/7 cucumbers out of it so far. However, I noticed that recently some of the leaves started to die (the ones closer to the roots first, and then working their way up). Today, I discovered that there is a hairy yellow caterpillar-like (about size and shape of a jellybean) bug on the underside of the leaves (oh, and today there was also one on one cucumber, the fruit).

    I was hoping you guys could give me a hand. I would like to know:

    1) What type of bug is it?

    2) Is it too late to get rid of it? The leaves closer to the root are very affected, some of them almost dead. However, the ones towards the other end of the plant look healthy and are bug free.

    3) If it is not too late, should I remove the partially-affected leaves ?

    Thanks a lot!!!


    Where are you? Are the dying leaves being eaten, or just turning yellow and dying?

    If they are just turning yellow and the rest of the plant looks healthy then that is normal. Your plant is getting older and has done a lot of work and it is just shedding the older leaves that are past their use-by date.

    If the leaves are very quickly dying and the plant looks very sad and wilting then you should immediately pull it out and burn or dispose of it in a way that it will not infect any other soil with wilt.

    I don’t think the caterpiller is much of a problem unless most of the leaves have large eaten areas but you can always just pick them off.

    If the damage is something I haven’t discribed then we would need a picture to help.


    The caterpiller is the larva of the lady beetle that eats cuber and pumkins the 28 spot i think the only vegaterian lady beetle

    Judi BJudi B

    mumof6 is right .. the best organic and cheapest way to control them is F&T (finger and thumb) :laugh: best time to look for them is early in the morning before the sun gets too hot or late in the afternoon.


    Oh, I love that F&T therapy idea, will put in in my horticulture skills next to Specific Replanting Strategy (pull it out and try something else). Also GROD – Get rid of the Dead, makes an amazing difference. Hmm, we need a thread for these quick hints, dont we?

    But of course dont use poisons on anything that can easily be thrown to the chooks.


    Hi guys!

    Thanks for your help. I think you are right and it is the 28-spotted lady beetle. I googled some pictures and the larvae look the same as the ones on my plants. Plus, now that you mention, I have seen lots of lady beetles in my garden and thought “that’s good, they eat other insects”. So much for that.

    Anyway, I am attaching pics of the larvae, for the sake of this topic’s completeness, so if someone else has the same problem, the solution is right here, pics and all.

    So, these are the nasty creatures:

    And this is the affect on the plant:

    What do you guys think, should I pull the dead leaves? How about the semi dead (green parts and brown parts)? The plant has quite a few cucumbers (maybe 6 o 7) and only 5 o 6 healthy, all-green, leaves.

    Also, I am all for organic solutions and I have not sprayed my plants or add any chemical fertilisers during my entire life as a gardener (i.e. since last spring :P)


    PS: I am in Newcastle, NSW.

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