Larvae are pale-colored and wormlike with brown heads. Adult spotted cucumber beetles are about 1/4" long, with shiny black heads and greenish-yellow with 12 black spots on their backs. Adult striped cucumber beetles are about 1/4" long, with shiny black heads and are yellowish-orange with 3 black stripes. There may be 1-2 generations of each type of cucumber beetle per year.
Larvae may tunnel roots and can stunt plants and sometimes kill seedlings. Adults feed on leaves, stems and almost any type of flowers, especially light-colored ones. They are also vectors for bacterial wilt and mosiac of several vine crops. Before cucurbits are up, the striped cucumber beetles' preferred hosts, adults will feed on the pollen of a variety of woody plants such as buckeye, willow, wild plum, hawthorn, elm, lilac and others. Striped cucumber beetles become active in mid-late May and are the more serious pest in WI. This species has one generation per year.
Cover plants with floating row covers when possible.
A limited number of chemical controls are available for the management of cucumber beetles. Thoroughly read all product labels to make sure that they can be applied to your particular crop.