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Mexican Bean Beetle

Mexican Bean Beetle Control

Epilachna varivestis

Mexican bean beetles are native to Mexico, but they are present in some areas of the Midwest. They are actually one of the few destructive species of ladybird beetles. Though the larvae are the most destructive life stage, the adults can defoliate host plants.

Mexican bean beetles feed on many bean species, soybeans, alfalfa, clover, cowpea, and kudzu. Their feeding causes the leaves to have a skeletonized appearance. Adult beetles are oval in shape and orange to copper in color with 8 black spots on each wing cover. They are typically 0.31" long and 0.23" wide when full grown. The females lay eggs on the underside of bean leaves. The larvae are soft, yellow, and covered with six rows of dark, branched spines. They are 0.35" long when full grown. Mexican bean beetles overwinter in the adult beetle stage.

Control methods include: Exclusion using floating row covers. Spray plants with Surround WP to prevent them from chewing on the plants. Spray the soil with Beauveria bassiana in early spring to reduce the adult population. Use beneficial insects to control them. The Mexican Bean Parasite is specific to this pest.

For more information please see our Pest Beetle Control page.

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