Like any vegetable, cucumber is a staple in home gardens or even vertical garden plants.
It is a very easy-care plant that is usually quite grateful in its harvest. However, its cultivation, like that of all vegetables, is not exempt from the appearance of pests and diseases that can alter your health.
That is why it is very important that you maintain a healthy plant as a pest prevention method. If they still appear, do not worry, here we leave you all the information so that you learn to identify and eliminate them as soon as possible.
A nutritious fruit
Cucumber is grown in many places due to the productivity of its plant and the high demand for this food worldwide.
This is due not only to a neutral and pleasant taste that perfectly combines salads and creams but also to its nutritional properties. The presence of vitamins of group B, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc stands out.
In addition, its freshness and its richness in water make it a food widely consumed in healthy diets or recommended for people who want to lose weight.
Its cultivation is recommended for those people who are starting in the world of horticulture and domestic agriculture since, in addition to being a plant that needs very basic care. It is known to be a very productive crop and gives an abundant harvest.
It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family next to pumpkin, melon, watermelon or zucchini. When it comes to preventing and controlling pests, it is important that we emphasize that ours is a healthy plant and that it overflows health, so you must take care to give proper care.
Here are some tips to get it:
- First of all, it is important that you treat the soil correctly to give a good base to your cucumber plant. Therefore, the soil must have good drainage, and you must provide it with a good substrate. A good dose of fertilizer or earthworm hummus to start with will be good, as it is a very demanding plant in terms of nutrients.
- When sowing, make sure that the temperature is rather a spring or early summer, since the soil should be about 15 or 16 degrees.
- Its irrigation should be abundant, always better by dripping to avoid waterlogging or drowning the plant. It should not lack hydration, so the best way to check if it is hydrated is to touch the earth and that it is slightly damp.
- Although they are a summer crop, they do not withstand extremely hot temperatures too well, so if you want to maintain good health in your cucumber plant, the ideal is to protect it from heat. One way to do this is to plant them in areas where they have some shade in the hottest hours.
- Finally, when picking the crop, the ideal is that you do not expect too much once they have formed with good size and are green because if they start to yellow, their flavor will be worse. In this way, you also encourage the plant to develop new cucumbers.
The cucumber does not have specific pests but is exposed to the unwanted visit of harmful insects that will also walk through the rest of the vegetables and plants in your garden.
However, it is essential that they know what types of insects are attracted to the fruits of this plant so that in case they finally appear, you can control them quickly and prevent a few bugs from becoming a nightmare that causes serious damage to the harvest.
Here are the most common cucumber pests :
- The caterpillars also affect cucumbers, and in fact, it is not difficult to see butterflies fluttering around your plants. In their caterpillar phase, these insects feed on the leaves of the plant, so you should keep them out. Later we will show you how to eliminate this pest.
- The whitefly is another insect that can cause serious damage to cucumbers. They reduce the size of the plant while undermining the harvest and its quality. In addition, they facilitate the entry of diseases and viruses such as bold.
- The cucumber beetle is another common in this plant that can also cause serious damage. They feed on everything, the adults of the leaf and the fruit and the larvae of the roots, so it can kill whole plants if we have a plague of many individuals.
- The aphids also attack the crop. They feed on the sap of the plants at the same time that they leave free entry to the bold. In addition, they are protected by ants in exchange for leaving them a part of a food, so if you have an aphid, you have a double problem.
- The red spider and the white spider also feed on the sap of plants, and they are polyphagous mites that can cause the leaf to dry and even fall. They appear especially in times of drought or when the temperature is extremely hot.
- Finally, thrips are present in numerous crops, and also in cucumber. They feed on the flowers so we can find them hidden inside or hanging around the leaves.
How to eliminate cucumber pests
To eliminate cucumber pests, there are numerous methods. In addition to the usual insecticides and specific pesticides for each type of pest, we can find some more homemade or natural remedies that have a lower environmental impact on their use.
Here are some examples of different methods to eliminate cucumber pests :
- Caterpillars, for example, can be treated in various ways. One of the most effective ecological treatments is bacillus thuriengensis, a bacterium that you can place on the ground whose toxin is deadly to adult caterpillars. It is one of its natural predators, so we can talk about a biological control method.
- In the case of whitefly, a very effective remedy is to use potassium soap with rain or distilled water and spray the underside of the leaves with the mixture. This type of soap is also effective against thrips, as it softens your exoskeleton and causes them to die.
- Another remedy against whitefly is to plant peppermint in a place a little away from cucumber but relatively close. They will be attracted to this plant and leave the cucumber crop alone.
- Remember that most of these insects that form pests in cucumber have their own natural predators. Therefore, you should not rule out the option of setting up an insect hotel to attract them. For example, wasps, beetles, toads, and birds are some of the most common.
- Another very common method is the placement of yellow chromatic traps that retain numerous insects, including the cucumber beetle. The same happens with the application of pheromones or food baits.
- To eliminate all pests and as a preventive treatment, it is very important that you get rid of all possible weeds, as these serve as a refuge for many pests, such as aphids, so use a treatment on the plant and forget what There is a mistake around that can lead to a second attack.
- Some oils such as nim or paraffin oils have also proven very effective against the appearance of mites such as the red spider or the white spider.
- Similarly, sulfur-containing treatments effectively combat these types of insects. It is used by sprinkling this ingredient on the soil and the affected leaves.