Something Is Enjoying My Green Beans… And It’s Not Us!

green beans

Having a little problem here. Notice anything in particular? Yeah, HOLES, everywhere! My poor poor green beans, well, what’s left of them after the chickens had a field day scratching in this particular bed, have been pretty much obliterated by some unidentified munching creature. (The little tiny flying bugs all over the backs of the leaves, perhaps?) I’ve tried spraying the plants with organic insecticides, but the problem with that has been that it can’t rain for 24 hours after applying the spray… and it has been raining every other day for several weeks now! So, the sprays have done no good. My mother-in-law suggested that I add some lemon scented dish soap to some water and spray both sides of the plant’s leaves with that… but like I said, it hasn’t stayed dry long enough for it to help. I’m about to dig all of these up and re-plant the bed.

Any suggestions??

22 thoughts on “Something Is Enjoying My Green Beans… And It’s Not Us!”

  1. Always read the fine print……..I recently went to a local home and garden store to purchase something to “take care of” whatever has been eating my raspberry leaves. A man who has worked there for quite some time, commented “well, you would want something Earth friendly and organic”. Absolutely I said. He handed me a very friendly looking bottle of soap spray. After spraying the plant, wait so many hours, and you can eat the fruit with no problem…..well, he also said, “but you can’t “”can”” anything you spray with this…. “what???????” It’s organically labeled, you can eat it after so many hours, but you can’t “can” what you spray?????? I am bringing this up, because many of us have purchased items in bulk to “can” from local garden stands, and we have grown items, and used “insecticide soaps” on them. It got me thinking of what we have ingested, and changed the character of by the heat process of canning. If Earth friendly can harm us, what are the local stands and grocery store suppliers using? Food for thought. Keep knocking those bugs off if you can find them……smooosh them……stomp them……drown them. Be merciless, because obviously anthing we can buy to kill them, will probably kill us, sooner or later. P.S. …and always, always, remember to rotate your crops every year!

    • I completely agree with you and this whole “Organic” Craze. People really need to pay attention to what Organic means. WAY TO HIGH mineral amounts put on the plants that goes right into the food we eat. Plus a bunch of other bad practices that go into the ground and right into the person that eats the “whatever it is product”. Just stick to home remedies and picking. It will be safer for you. Happy Planting, Growing and Eatting.
      Maria Sergent
      EM’s Garden Market

  2. Wow, sounds like you got lots of advice here. I always seem to email and forget that it’s not the same as comments.

    In summary of what you’ve already read from me and if it might possibly help others.

    If you look under the leaves and there are small yellow orange larvae or small yellow/orange beetles with black spots, then your problem is bean beetles. These guys are BIG eaters and will ruin your beans as well as foliage.

    I have in the past used NEEM oil spray on them. You can add to that some hot pepper sauce or cayenne powder (probably ought to strain it if you do so it doesn’t clog your sprayer). A little goes a long way and is essential to any gardener. Spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves and repeat a few times especially after a heavy rain, though because this is an oil it will stick to the leaves and won’t need to be repeated quite as often as a powder. Most powders are toxic anyway and not something I like to put into the garden.

    After I wrote to you I found a couple sites that had some interesting information on bug sprays that use household items and I know you like that…


    Hope these help ya…

    Unless the bean pods are already infested, I’d try the oil before pulling them up and replanting, but then you’re in a place with a longer growing season, so it may work for you. We wouldn’t have enough growing season for new plants to grow at this point.

    God Bless,
    Mrs. D

  3. We had the same problem last year and we’re having it again this year. They’re definitely beetles! We got a beetle trap at Home Depot that wasn’t very expensive. It’s a bag with a scent pad at the top that you hang downwind of the plants. The beetles are attracted to the scent and wind up dead in the bag….just tie up the bag when it gets full and throw it in the garbage. I think we used two bags the whole summer. As soon as we hung the trap, the beetle problem instantly got better!

  4. about the sevin dust, you can also put some in a knee high stocking and shake it around where you want it and it will come out in a fine dusting all over, it saves alot too. I just never had luck with the organic stuff, except for fertilizers.

  5. We had the same problem. If the “flying” bugs are tiny black ones than they probably are the problem and they’re called flea beetles. If you spray both sides of the leaves with a hot pepper spray (~1 Tbspn tabasco sauce, ~ 1 Tbspn dish soap and 32 ounces of water in a spray bottle) you should be able to get rid of them. It’s okay if it’s going to rain, as you want to reapply this every 2-3 days anyway. This worked for us just a couple of weeks ago.

  6. Ooooh, I agree. I think you have flea beetles and if left alone, they will eat every bit of your leaves. We lost all of our eggplant last year.

    Also, try to get on the mailing list of Garden’s Alive catalog.

    They will often have $25 off coupons on their catalog with NO MINIMUM ORDER. I just “purchased” Liquid Rotenone/Pyrethrin Spray which is an organic insectide.

    Good luck!


  7. I agree with Jen about the chili powder and cinnamon. I’ve heard it said before and forgot about it. I’ll probably be doing that to my brussels sprouts tomorrow. The yellow is probably from too much water. But if the pic you put up with your post is what your plants look like, then you should be fine. You should still get beans. I planted beans as well and they arent producing anything yet. It’s been at least 6 weeks. Also, if you’ve gotten so much rain, it might be causing your beans not to grow as well as some of the other plants. Tomatoes love water and sun. Give them plenty of both and they are good to go. Im not so sure that beans have the same philosophy. I would keep them anyway. Maybe put a tarp loosly over them if you are getting more rain just to keep the water from drowning the poor plants. That’s my advice, I hope this helps!

  8. Just sprinkle some sevin dust on them. Yes, I know it’s not organic, but neither is most of the stuff in the store. Better something than nothing. It will knock most of the bugs out. some years are worse than others. There will be new growth too, and it won’t have the sevin on it. It will kill the bugs and has been around awhile. I just take an old can and put a tons of holes in the bottom with a hammer and a nail. I put the sevin dust in there and tap the can to dust the plants. You can also do the dog a little as well for fleas. Sure, frontline works great but who has $ for that? That way the dog doesn’t scratch bald spots which turn into something else. I do like organic stuff a lot, but some of the treatments are too expensive.

  9. The yellow is probably from all the rain…too much water.

    In my garden I sprinkle chili powder and cinnamon. I buy the big containers of it in the seasoning isle of Costco. It cleared an entire ant hill in my garden last year and kept squash bugs at bay and snails away. It was really effect so I’d give it a try. It might cling to the leaves longer than the soap spray (which I also use too) does in the rain.

  10. Are they actually killing the plants?? We had this problem one year and left it go, they never killed the plants and we still got beans. Good luck!!

    • Tabatha,

      Most of the plants are yellow. I think they can be counted as goners! None are blooming or anything. Maybe I’ll let them go and see what happens. Some tomato plants that I totally expected to die are actually doing better than all of the rest now, so maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.


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