Garden Talk: Mexican Bean Beetles

Today is a day for a grumble. First about the foot of snow, then about Mexican Bean Beetles.  It's because I'm thinking gardens and organizing seeds. Do you have them? I have a horrendous problem with them. They totally decimate my bean plants.  In latin Epilachna varivestis mulsant....which must mean little beastly beetles that make me want to holler words I shouldn't say.  

It starts with little yellow eggs under the leaves of the plants, then these little black and yellow fuzzy things that just crawl around and eat the plant. Then BIG FUZZY yellow that stink and make a mess when you squish them and then finally these orange spotted beetley thing that just wants to lay eggs and start the whole thing again.  They make the leaves skeletons and reduce the production immensely. 2-3 hatchings a year and then overwintering in the soil. Beastly they are. You can learn more about them and see their pic here.

I probably could take a pause in growing beans in hopes the over wintered beetles would find a better home.  Don't want to do that. I do try to do crop rotation, but they always come back. I am against using an insecticide.  I don't have the capacity to pick each one of things things off by hand.  I found a way to combat these.  Know what I do?  Plant A LOT. As in 5x what we need.  When the beans come in, I pick and pick and pick.  I can pick enough for us to have daily beans and plenty to preserve before the beetles have their feast.  It doesn't cost me any more than space because I am still able to save beans from the plants every year to plant the next year.  This has been my strategy for the last few years and it has worked beautifully.  I wish the Mexican Bean Beetles would just go away and I'd not have to strategize, but at least the strategy has been working.

Now if only I could only solve other dilemmas in my life with such declaration...

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