Q: I have a question regarding the attached photo of an unknown bug visiting one of my squash flower plants. This morning I counted eight of the same type crawling all over the squash flowers. Any idea of what type of bug this is and will its presence be a problem?
A: It is a striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum). They are in the family Chrysomelidae, commonly known as leaf beetles, and pests of cucurbit crops such as squash, pumpkin, zucchini, gourds, watermelon and cucumber. The adults mainly feed on pollen, flowers and foliage. The larvae feed on roots and stems.
They have the potential to spread bacterial wilt in cucurbits. I recommend removing them when you can catch them. An insect net might come in handy if you are growing a lot of these plants.
Peter L. Warren is the urban horticulture agent for the Pima County Cooperative Extension and the University of Arizona. Email: plwarren@cals. arizona.edu