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seeking advice for pest control

What I believe to be striped ladybird beetles are forming large congregations on my pumpkin plants. What, if any, harm may they cause? If they are harmful, what is the best product to or method of controlling them? Thank you.

two points
  • you must know for sure the identity of the organism before even considering control measures. (no reliable ID can be based, or expected, from verbal description alone.)
  • as far as i know, it is the policy of this site not to give any advice on pest control.

Have you seen any damage done
Have you seen any damage done by the insects? Or are they just kind of 'hanging out'? If they just find the pumpkin patch to be a cozy place, then I wouldn't worry.

As for your description, there are a multitude of beetles that could hold that appearance. The only pest I can think of that would dine on Pumpkin is the Striped Cucumber Beetle. They cause only minor damage to the plants, but can spread diseases.

The best and nature-friendliest method I know of for these critters is to get some Diatomaceous Earth (or D.E.) and dust the plants with it in the late evening or night. The bugs hunker down for the night in the litter around the plant, and when they wake up they will meet that dusted powder and will turn right around! Beneficial nematodes and parasitic wasps are both available mail-order. Tachnid flies (kind of fuzzy, hairy flies) and soldier beetles use them as part of their life cycle as well.

We prefer bug-friendly ways of dealing with pests, simply because they're all very important in the scheme of things, even if they cause our lovely gardens to look a little worse for wear. I'm sure there are plenty of other 'friendly' methods of getting them to head for the hills.

Striped Cucumber Beetle on pumpkins
Thank you very much for your response. I appreciate the info & the time you took to share it.

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