Bacterial Wilt

bacterialwiltBiological information:

  • Common name: Bacterial Wilt
  • Scientific name: Erwinia tracheiphila
  • Family or class: Enterobacteriaceae

Symptoms and/or signs to watch out for:

  • Wilting of plants or vines
  • Movement from leaf tips into petiole
  • Bacterial ooze, streaming

Life cycle:

  • Overwinters in plant debris and infected beetles
  • Early feeding by striped cucumber beetle and spotted cucumber beetles pick up bacteria
  • Symptoms appear 6-7 days following infection

Mode of reproduction:

  • Essentially binary fission

Vectors for the pest:

  • Striped cucumber beetle
  • Spotted cucumber beetles

Overwintering habit:

  • Crop debris
  • Insect mouthparts

Alternate hosts:

  • Other cucurbits
  • Goldenrod?

Horticultural production information:

Preventative strategies:

  • Management of beetle populations
  • Culling infected plants from field
  • Sanitation (tools, equipment, hands, fields)

Threshold levels:

  • 1 beetle per plant – insecticidal action

Control options:

Physical controls:

  • Netting

Biological controls:

  • No effective option

Chemical controls:

  • Camouflage – surround at planting
  • Insecticides

Historical notes from Farm to YoU NH:

Date/circumstances observed (Pictures)

Control method used, efficacy of control method


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