What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Please identify yellow bug with black hairs
Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 1:20 PM
I have looked all over the internet and cannot find a name or description for this bug. I know someone out there knows what it is. This is a small yellow-bodied beetle-like bug with six legs and lots of single straight black hairs all over its back. I found this and several others eating holes in my zucchini leaves. I assume since it is eating holes that it is not a “good” bug to keep around. But I have never seen one of these before. I appreciate any help you can give.
Jessica Moore
Charlotte, NC

Squash Lady Beetle Larva

Squash Lady Beetle Larva

Hi Jessica,
We were certain you had a beetle larva, but we thought it must be a Leaf Beetle Larva.  By searching for squash beetle with a search engine, we quickly identified your Squash Lady Beetle Larva on BugGuide.  Most Lady Beetles are beneficial predators, but the Squash Lady Beetle, Epilachna borealis, is one of the few species that feeds on plants.  According to BugGuide:  “The insect and its spiny larvae eat the leaves of squash, cantaloupe, and other cucurbits. An unusual characteristic of this insect is that it circles the leaf area in which it is going to feed. “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

16 Responses to Squash Lady Beetle Larva

  1. jspredvett says:

    What’s the best way to get rid of these pests? They’re eating my Yellow Squash plants.

    • I started seeing these pests eating my summer squash, zucchini, pumpkins,and winter squash three years ago and never had seen them before. Finally I had to spray them with Malathion and it works very well. Make sure to check the ” days to harvest” on the label. And of course wash the beans well before cooking. I pick the beans then immediatley spray the plants with the insecticide. This will allow the plants time to grow more beans until you do the same cycle again.

  2. ken says:

    I pureed whole garlic lemon and golden cayenne. ..added water and sprayed my plants….hope it works

    • I am not an organic grower, as I have tried several “natural” concoctions over the years, (I have been growing a large garden for 45 years and have found most of the natural controls to be inneffctive). Malathion works very well. Most pesticides are fine when used as directed. These yellow creatures when leaves get in short supply in the fall will at the squash themselves.

  3. Tiffany Ferrell says:

    Are those lady battle larva bugs poiseness because my son just poked his finger on one…please let me know thanks

    • bugman says:

      Lady Beetle Larvae have no poise, nor are they poisonous. This particular Lady Beetle is unique in that it is a plant feeder, while most others are predatory. Other Lady Beetles, both adults and larvae, help gardeners battle insect pests like Aphids.

  4. Rhoni says:

    That’s the same bug that’s eating my green bean plants. Total infestation… I hope they enjoy them.

  5. Rhoni, I think the insect you have eating your bean plants are Mexican Bean Beatles. The adults are bronze in color with black spots. Their larva are little fuzzy yellow creature which skeletonize the leaves of the bean plant and sometimes eat holes in the beans themselves. Malathion works well on them, but make sure you check the label for “days to harvest” after applying .

  6. Ted Brown says:

    Does anybody have a picture of the adult squash lady beetle?

  7. Teresa Smith says:

    Would like to know an organic way to ride my garden of this larva….

  8. Andrea says:

    That is NOT a squash beetle. I went to the bug guide a few weeks ago and it has this wrong. It’s a Mexican bean beetle. They’ll go after not just beans, but squash, tomatoes, and several other variety of plants. They killed my squash this year, partly because I didn’t realize the adults were not just an orange-yellow variety of ladybug. I just found one on my cherry tomato plant, so I have to figure something out.

    • bugman says:

      Don’t be too certain. Both the Squash Lady Beetle and the Mexican Bean Beetle are in the same genus and have similar looking larvae. Here is a BugGuide image of the Mexican Bean Beetle and here is a BugGuide image of the Squash Lady Beetle larva. According to BugGuide, the Mexican Bean Beetle feeds upon “Beans, soybeans, cowpeas, clover, alfalfa, kudzu, and beggartick/beggarweed.” According to BugGuide, the Squash Lady Beetle feeds on “leaves of squash, cantaloupe, and other cucurbits; an unusual characteristic is that this insect circles the leaf area in which it is going to feed.” In retrospect, we would consider any member of the subfamily Epilachninae, and you can see the entire life cycle depicted on BugGuide.

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