Once infected by this disease, plants will not recover

Sunset  – September 7, 2004

A common disease of cucumbers, bacterial wilt also afflicts muskmelons, squash, and pumpkins. Most troublesome east of the Rockies, it is prevalent during moist weather. It is usually spread by cucumber beetles feeding on foliage. Symptoms include rapid wilting of plants and death of young seedlings. Check for the disease by cutting a stem near the base and squeezing it; if present, bacteria will ooze out in a sticky mass.

To avoid infection of certain vegetables, look for resistant plants. Infected plants will not recover. To minimize risk of infection among susceptible plants, use floating row covers to keep beetles off plants; or spray with pyrethrin.

There is no chemical control.