Little Buggers – Mexican Bean Beetle Time

This is my first year to have a garden and I am enjoying it immensely.  It is so fun going out and watching the progress of seeds turning into seedlings, growing into plants, creating blossoms which turn into vegetables and then, of course, picking them!

But lately, I’ve also been picking other things — like little yellow larvae with black spines off of my green bean plants.  They are hard not to miss – they are everywhere — 3 or 4 to a leaf!  I’ve been squishing them with my fingers (most unpleasant) and in the course of looking for them on the plants, I’ve identified all the life cycle stages of this creature — the Mexican Bean Beetle (see photo).

I am not complaining.  I’ve had fun researching them.  They do weaken the bean plant because they turn the leaves into Swiss cheese, but this is my 3rd planting of the season and I’ve already gotten two pickings from this planting, so I am ready to pull them to throw into the compost pile.  But the interesting thing is that I did not have these little buggers on the first two green bean plantings and I’ve learned that it may be due to the fact that I had dill planted in the raised bed where I had my 1st two plantings and did not have dill planted in the 2nd raised bed where I had my 3rd planting.  Good to know.

I researched this on my own (see complete life-cycle and pest-control article), but if you prefer, you can get FREE advice from your local UT Extension Office in Maynardville.  They will come out to your home and diagnose and give you free advice to solve your specific problem.


Shannon Perrin, M.S.
UT Extension Office
Agent & County Director
3925 Maynardville Hwy
Maynardville, TN  37807

Life is an adventure!