Organic Insecticide Control for Bean Leaf Beetles


Photo by Tonya Olson

When I was a kid, I hated picking beans. It was hot, humid, and eventually, I was sunburned from picking them. The work was intense, because my sister and I put off picking them until the bounty was heavy and the heat was high. Learn from my mistake: Don’t wait to harvest.

Beans also will stop producing if you don’t pick them. After all the picking was done, I had to trim the ends off. I heard it once said that green beans were a country kid’s worst nightmare. I know it was mine! I had eaten canned beans for most of my short life, and I didn’t really see the point to growing them.

Since then, I have become an adult and can now say homegrown garden beans are much tastier. Bush and pole beans are a couple of my contributions to our MOTHER EARTH NEWS garden. The inspiration for the pole beans came from my friend Benedict Vanheems, and as friend and former Mother Earth Living Editor Hannah Kincaid once said, try something new! The pole beans are my something new. We have yet to plant them in a circle, but because our garden grows in Zone 6a, we may very well be A-OK to do just that.

Because I have a vested interest in these beans, when I saw a ton of holes in them, the momma bear in me came out! I snapped pictures and marched back into the Ogden Publications office to ask our Editorial Director, Hank Will, for his advice. With Hank’s insight, we discovered the issue to be bean leaf beetles munching away to their hearts’ delight.

Identify the Treacherous Bean Leaf Beetle

Bean leaf beetles are 1/4-inch long and display many colors. They have four black spots on their backs with a triangle behind their head and are hard to control without chemicals. They thrive in moist climates such as ours and emerge in mid- to late-spring. Adults usually feed from underneath the leaf, while larvae feed on the roots, nodules, and stem below the soil. Luckily the beetles have not done much damage below the surface. We continue to see new growth, but the same shotholes are appearing on those as well.

6/20/2019 10:59:14 AM

On a related note: don't melt your spray bottle with water that's too hot. Lesson learned ...

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters