How to Prevent Green Bean Pests

Written by victoria rosendahl
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How to Prevent Green Bean Pests
Green beans aren't immune from pests. (Bushel of Green Beans image by Tracey Loftis from

Pests are a natural part of any garden, and green beans are not immune from their damage. Whether you're growing a bush bean or a pole bean these pests, which include the bean leaf beetle and Mexican bean beetle, love to eat leaves, pods and stems---and can sometimes destroy a whole plant overnight. There are ways to combat these pests that run anywhere from using insecticides, to delayed planting, to the use of beneficial insects.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Notebook
  • Pen or pencil
  • Garden hoops
  • Floating row covers
  • Earth staples
  • Organic insecticidal spray

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  1. 1

    Check your green bean plants for insect damage. Damage to leaves can make them look like a lace doily, and holes may appear in pods. Checking several times during the day will help you identify when the pests are snacking on your bean plants. Make a note of what you observe (and the time of day and year you observed it) in your notebook.

    How to Prevent Green Bean Pests
    Check your plants for damage. (Runner Bean Plants image by chrisharvey from
  2. 2

    Remove tall weeds, grasses, or any other residue from crops if your green bean plants are surrounded by them. This will help eliminate breeding sites for green bean pests like the Mexican bean beetle, bean leaf beetle and bean cutworm.

    How to Prevent Green Bean Pests
    Tall weeds and grasses are a green bean pest breeding ground. (Grasses image by Colleen Masee from
  3. 3

    Place garden hoops over plants. If you're growing bush beans, then place floating row covers over the hoops and secure to the ground with earth staples to prevent bean pest infestation. Row cover will not work for pole bean plants as they grow too high for floating row covers to work effectively.

  4. 4

    Plant at the time when green bean pests are not prevalent. Check with your extension agent or master gardeners club to find out when green bean pests are most active and plant your beans when they are not. For instance, in the upper Midwest, green bean pests are active in spring. Planting in the summer will help reduce the damage.

    How to Prevent Green Bean Pests
    Plant green beans when their pests are least active. (runner bean plant 6 image by chrisharvey from
  5. 5

    Spray an organic insecticide on the green bean pests. This should stop them without you resorting to chemical-based insecticides.

    How to Prevent Green Bean Pests
    Use an insecticide to help stop green bean pest damage. (gendarme image by asb from

Tips and warnings

  • Green bean pests have enemies and you may want to look into planting a garden insectary next to your bean plants to attract these enemies, and defeat the green bean pests naturally.

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