How to Stop Garden Bugs From Eating Bean Plants


According to the University of Illinois, the bean is the second most popular plant for the backyard garden behind the tomato. Bean plants are a warm season plant. While some varieties grow on a vine, others grow on low, scrubby bushes. Like many vegetables, bean plants are subject to attack by insects. But you can ward off and prevent many common insects with both chemicals and mechanical means.

Step 1

Select healthy bean plant varieties that are free of aphids, white flies or mites for your garden. You should also select a hybrid that has been grown for its insect resistant qualities. According to North Carolina State University, bugs are less likely to attack healthy plants.

Step 2

Improve the soil of your garden to boost the health of your bean plants by amending the soil with fertilizer and compost. To do this, break up your soil with a tiller to a depth of 8 inches. Spread 3 inches of compost onto the surface of soil. Add fertilizer according to the instructions on the package. Then mix the compost with the soil by passing the rototiller over it again.

Step 3

Plant and harvest beans early to avoid late-season pests. Beans have a short life cycle, and some farmers plant beans in succession to assure continued harvests all summer long. But if you stop growing beans before the hottest days of summer, when pests such as Mexican beetles and thrips become a problem, you will avoid the ravages of these pests.

Step 4

Compost or discard garden refuse instead of leaving it in the garden; this helps destroy the habitat of insects that feed off beans. You should also pull any weeds from the ground for the same reasons.

Step 5

Identify garden bugs as soon as you see them. According to North Carolina State University, there are about 150 species of garden pests and 91,000 species that are not harmful in the garden. Identifying garden bugs will help you determine if they are harmful, and the action that you need to take to destroy pests.

Step 6

Mix a solution of insecticidal soap and water in a bucket according to the directions on the insecticidal soap package. Hand-pick bugs off the leaves of bean plants and drop them into the bucket of water.

Step 7

Pour insecticidal soap into the holding tank of a spray mixer for the garden hose. Treat bean plants by spraying them with the garden hose to distribute insecticidal soap over the leaves of the plant to kill bugs such as aphids.

Step 8

Create a physical barrier around bean plants by covering them with a floating row cover. These covers, which consist of plastic arches that hold up a tunnel of plastic, may be purchased at a garden center. You should remove floating row covers during the hottest part of the day to avoid scorching your bean plants.

Step 9

Hang insect traps, such as light traps or pheromone traps, around your garden. These traps will help to cut down on the insect population in your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer (10-10-10)
  • Rototiller
  • Garden hose with spray nozzle
  • Spray mixer for the garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Floating row cover
  • Insect traps


  • NC State University Department of Entomology: Vegetable Insect Pest Management
  • University of Illinois Extension: Beans
  • Clemson University Extension: Bush & Pole-Type Snap Beans

Who Can Help

  • NC State University Extension: Pests of Beans and Peas
Keywords: care of bean plants, insect control in the garden, repelling insects from Bean Plants

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."