A close cousin to the lady bug, the Mexican Bean Beetle is distinct from the lady bug with its bright yellow larvae. The adults are larger and more orange, not red.
Keep it simple, catch it early
Start watching out for the University of GA’s (UGA) 10 most wanted insect pest. UGA names the 10 most wanted as (1) the Mexican bean beetle, (2) the Colorado potato beetle, (3) the bean leaf beetle, (4) the harlequin cabbage bug, (5) the blister beetle, (6) the cabbage worm, (7)the tomato hornworm, (8) tomato fruit worm, (9) cucumber beetle and (10) squash bug.
Last season, the PAHL’s Healthy Belvedere Community Garden was hardest hit by the Mexican bean beetle. The beetles have several generations over the season, with each generation increasing in number and capable of more damage to plants. This makes early prevention key. Addressing the first generation can have a big impact later in the season.
The overwintered eggs that are the first to emerge, lay all the eggs for the rest of the season. By rubbing out the bright yellow eggs that hid on the underside of leaves and capturing adults in a jar or plastic bag that has a squirt of rubbing alcohol, you reduce the number of adults that lay the next generations eggs. Turn over leaves and look for the bright yellow clutches of eggs and larvae. As the season progresses apply diatomaceous earth for additional control.