Cucumber Pest Sex
When I came across the giant bugs pictured above, I was really excited. Not only did I think I’d found beneficial assassin bugs in my garden – but they were MATING! Well, my excitement waned considerably after doing some Google searches (relating to the cucumber beetles pictured below), and I happened upon the image of something referred to as a ‘squash bug’.
Did I mention I’m still a little wet behind the ears with this organic gardening stuff?
When I came across this hemipteran pair doing the deed, I also happened to notice a set of large insect eggs nearby. A quick search for “squash bug eggs” today basically eliminated any doubt in my mind re: the identity of these pests (assassin bug eggs look nothing like this). Oh well! Live and learn.
I am actually still very happy to have found the squash bugs and their eggs, since I’m trying to compile a decent photo collection of beneficial and pest insects. It has been the only squash bug sighting so far this year, so I’m not all that worried about them.
Cucumber beetles on the other hand, seem to be quite abundant in the garden this year. I’ve found them on all my cucurbits – although only my actual cucumber plants seem to be suffering at all (and relatively little, at that). As you can see in the images below, my zucchinis and pumpkins seem to be doing just fine.
There is actually some academic evidence to indicate that vermicompost can help plants to fend off insect pests – so that might help to explain why I’m not really seeing any serious issues (the zucchinis and pumpkins are both bordered by my main vermicomposting trench). There is little doubt that the overall boost in plant growth provided by worm poop would also help to keep the plants healthy in general.