Last year (2012) my vegetable garden was hard hit by what is called around here the Mexican Bean Beetle. It seems to like squash but will eat almost anything as far as I can tell. I would like to get the upper hand before the season starts. Anyone have successful experience with this pest? Last year it was my morning ritual to go pick off any I could find and drop them in soapy water. I also remove any leaves that I found eggs on but they continued all year :-( Thanks for your help
Start looking early in the season and kill both adult and eggs as soon as you see them. Unfortunately, if you live in an area where there are many other gardeners, you may have a constant battle on your hands. Turn over leaves and squish the bright yellow eggs, you don't need to remove the leaves.
When I lived in Tennessee, I could not keep up with the Mexican Bean beetles, but here there are few, if any, other gardeners, so last year I saw one female and her clutch of eggs. Once I dispatched them, I saw no more.
Here are some photos for those of you who are not familiar with this pest. They look very similar to lady beetles, but are copper-colored as opposed to redish.
UGH! I hate those beetles and their dumb poky looking larvae! They were on everything in my garden last year, green and wax beans, squash, gourds,limas, I think I even found eggs on okra!
I don't use any chemicals, but once I recognized the eggs I squashed them and tried to keep up with scooting the larvae and adults in a soapy water cup. After about 7-10 days, it was a manageable job, and i found very few, nor did i see much damage. Now, the eggs i saw were kind of coppery and metallic rather than yellow. However it is the same pest. Hopefully this year I will be on the lookout so the initial damage can be avoided. It seemed that overnight they turned my beautiful green leaves to brown lacey skeletons.