Pumpkins in veggie patch have been damaged by beetles

KARNAK farmer Gordon Mitchell is devastated after small beetles ravaged his pumpkin patch.

Mr Mitchell said has been growing vegetables in his backyard for more than 40 years and had never seen anything like it. 

“These bugs out here are giving me the works and from what I am hearing out here, people with a bit of a veggie garden have these flying beetles. They are giving us hell.” he said. 

Mr Mitchell said he was unsure what type of beetles they were. He said at first glance they seemed to be ladybirds, but on the second glance the beetles were much longer and thinner. 

Mr Mitchell said the beetles could be a Christmas beetle or a Milkweed beetle. 

Mr Mitchell said the beetles started by eating the leaves from the pumpkin vine, leaving the veins. 

“Then they take to the pumpkin and eat little holes and continue to eat into the flesh and bury themselves in it,” he said. 

“I have some that are completely riddled with holes and the beetles are still munching away in it. They have made a mess.” 

Mr Mitchell said he had tried to save the remaining pumpkins, which were so far untouched. He said he left a big enough stem on the end of the pumpkins in the hope they would ripen. 

“I’ve done the best I can to save them,” he said. 

“I have some stuff from Bunnings (to spray the bugs with) and I hope it gets rid of them.” 

Mr Mitchell said other people in the area had experienced trouble with the beetles as well. 

“We have been suffering in silence I suppose,” he said. 

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