Advice on bean leaf beetle?

emcd124(5)July 30, 2012

Something has been chewing holes in the leaves of my pole beans. I dug around did some research and based on the evidence (size and placement of holes, the gnawing on the first four inches of the stem above ground level etc) I was pretty convinced bean leaf beetles were the culprit. I've been going out in the morning, afternoon and evening, whenever I can to try to spot the little guys and kill them, but I hadnt seen a bug on the plant until yesterday, when one of the yellow spotted ones flew out and landed on me. So now I believe I have confirmation that it is bean leaf beetle, because what I caught looks just like it.

But the internet isnt exactly encouraging about treatment options. The only option I saw that wasnt some totally heavy duty chemical seemed to be some expensive predatory wasps (might be too late in the season for that) and a possible suggestion to spray with neem oil.

Anyone on here ever combatted these guys with any luck? Recommend neem oil or anything else? If part of the life cycle chews on the stem at ground level, should I wrap the stem in aluminum foil tightly like you might to keep out cutworms? Right now they arent devastated, but the damage keeps getting worse, and the vines that they favor are past 25% holey.

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