Mexican Bean Beetle

Epilachna varivestis

Mexican bean beetle on a bean leaf
Mexican bean beetle on a bean leaf. Photo courtesy of Whitney Cranshaw. Licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Mexican bean beetles are a species of lady beetle which feed on legumes, including snap beans, lima beans, and soybeans. Both the adult and larval stages are pests.
Adult mexican bean beetles have a round yellow or orange body with 16 spots which fade with age. Their head is similar in color to the body, distinguishing them from many species of beneficial lady beetles which often have a black head. They also have a consistent pattern of spots on their wing covers which can be used to identify them.
Two mexican bean beetles on a leaf
Two mexican bean beetles on a leaf. Photo courtesy of Whitney Cranshaw. Licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Mexican bean beetle larvae are yellow or orange in color and are covered with spines.
Mexican bean beetle larva on a bean leaf
Mexican bean beetle larva on a bean leaf. Photo courtesy of Eugene E. Nelson. Licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Mexican bean beetles and their larvae feed on foliage, flowers, and pods. In sufficient number they can cause complete defoliation.
Insecticides are available for controlling mexican bean beetles. The number of beetles present and the extent of defoliation, along with the ability of the plant to recover, should be considered when deciding if treatment is necessary. Always read and follow all label instructions.