Getting Rid Of Potato Bugs — How to Kill Colorado Potato Beetles
Potato bugs are an invasive species that was first introduced in the U.S., and they’ve been wreaking havoc on potatoes ever since! The adults, larvae, and young of this pest will completely defoliate a potato patch as soon as it is left unattended for too long. And if you think one plant isn’t worth saving? Think again — tomatoes also fall victim to these nasty invaders who can turn your entire backyard into barren wasteland with no plants at all! But don’t worry- there’s always hope when dealing with such pests because many effective combat strategies exist to get rid of them once and for all from your garden or farmlands without any harm done whatsoever.
- 1 Plant Profile
- 2 Combat Methods
- 3 Defensive Plant Neighbors
- 4 Potato beetles
- family: Chrysomelidae
- binomial Name: Leptinotarsa decemlineata
- popular Names: Potato bug, Colorado potato beetle
- immigrated from the U.S. (Colorado) in 1877
- body length of adult potato bugs from 7 to 15 mm
- yellow wing covers with 10 black vertical stripes
- reddish larvae with dots on the sides and on the head
- annual occurrence from one to three generations
- main mating season: May-June, July and August
- sleep-wake-behavior: diurnal
- food plants: potatoes as well as other Solanaceae like tomatoes, egg plants, peppers
It’s the beginning of potato season. When ground temperatures rise over 15 degrees in spring, it is time for potato bugs to crawl out from belowground and reproduce explosively with a feeding damage that devastates potatoes as well as tomatoes, peppers, and other members of Solanaceae family. It can’t be more convenient than when 200 years after their sudden appearance in Europe there are developed at least partly some strategies against these little monsters — read here about how you get rid of them on your potatoes!
The potato bug’s damage potential is due to the fact that they are not native to Europe. This means there aren’t any natural predators in Europe, leading these bugs’ population levels off-balance and causing them spread rapidly. These insects can also survive being thrown out of a plane at 8,000m height—even landing on their feet! The insect physiology allows for flexible resistance against chemical pesticides which makes it easier for them to develop immunity within a short time span
Potato Bug’s Life Cycle
The potato bug’s life cycle is a fascinating one. The larvae and young bugs often destroy your potatoes, so it’s important to avoid their egg laying in order to stop the destruction process. However, this isn’t just about avoiding damage during that time period- timing matters too! Some of these phases are only going on for weeks or months at most which means if you don’t fight back then they’ll be able to continue destroying your plants until there aren’t any left!
The exact knowledge of the potato bug’s life cycle will optimize control strategy by determining when intervention should take place as well as what form it takes since different types can last anywhere from 3 days up 2 years depending on how long each phase lasts.
- potato bugs hibernate up to 60 cm below ground and crawl out starting at 15 degrees ground temperature
- from May, the copulated females will lay up to 1,200 red-yellow eggs in small packages on the bottoms of the leaves
- within one to two weeks, dark-red, black dotted larvae will hatch
- thanks to intensive feeding on potato leaves, the larvae are fully grown after 21 days
The young larvae will only mature to become adults after two weeks, and then they’ll head back underground for a month. They return as fully grown bugs in July with the intent of eating more leaves on potato plants until their next maturation cycle starts another three-week process where there is no limit to how many generations are created before August arrives.
Ecological Combat Methods
A new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology shows that potato bugs have a special talent to adjust their genetic makeup and develop resistance against chemical pesticides. This means that all those people who try to kill these pests by using chemicals will only end up losing, as they create food full of toxins while doing so. But ecologically oriented strategies from “eco” farmers are proving successful: for example, cabbage can be used as bait because it is especially attractive for this pest species!
A recent study conducted by scientists at Cornell University revealed something interesting about how insects react when treated with insecticides — namely potatoes bugs.
I was always told to check my potatoes for bugs before cooking them, but did you know that the best way to prevent bug infestation is by drowning them in water? Begin checking your plants starting early May and submerge any larvae or egg packages. This will help reduce pest problems throughout summer!
Summer mornings are a great time to get in some exercise with your pup. However, as the season gets hotter you’ll want to think about making sure that things stay nice and cool around those favorite plants of yours- so it’s important for all gardeners out there not just dog lovers! Gather up egg packages (or any other «good» eggs) from local farmers or collect them at home after being hatched on site. Mix these together with horseradish powder or mint leaves in water to create an organic insecticide spray for your plants; this will keep pests away while keeping everything smelling fresh too!
The bacillus thuringiensis bacterium, which is non-toxic to humans and animals as well as plants, ranks high in the ranking of successful control methods. The crystalline toxin acts deadly on potato bugs but also other insects such that specialist trade shops provide effective compounds made based on specific strains of the bacteria so that they are reliable because accurate killing can take place while beneficial ones like Syrphidae or Chrysopidae escape being killed if they happen to be in the treatment area.
Under these conditions, the Bt-combat method works well
- potato bugs and larvae need to feed on the bacterium
- at the time of the treatment, temperatures need to be 15 degrees Celsius or higher
- the treatment needs to be applied in the early hours of the morning because at that time the insects will take in the most food
- the spray or the spray solution needs to be sprayed directly onto the insects
- supplementary, all tops and bottoms of the infested plant will be treated
If you’re dealing with a bug infestation, Novodor FC from Biofa is the way to go. They work on larvae and in turn will kill off any bugs that are present as well. This product has been tested extensively for use in small gardens such as yours where it can be applied at an early stage due its effectiveness against young insects of all types including mosquitoes!
The active agent causes an immediate feeding stop which means your pesky critters won’t have anything to eat while they die out quickly thereafter if administered correctly — no need for pesticides or other chemicals like those found in competing products because this one gets the job done right away without harming people or animals around them when used properly by professionals who know how much pesticide to apply based on
The Neem tree provides ingredients that help against potato bugs and other biting or sucking harmful insects. With products, such as neemaAzal T/S can you fight the pests in your home garden in a healthy and environmentally-friendly manner. The remedy is made from seeds of the tree with form azadirachine extract containing high proportion which inhibits life cycle’s first stage by feeding stop followed decreased ability to propagate development process more efficiently than toxic chemical alternatives for pest control
- best timing for the treatment is the fifth day after egg deposition
- only produce the needed amount of spray solution on the day of treatment
- Neem inhibits the hatching of the eggs so that no development occurs after the first larvae stadium
The bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis can make Neem-based products even more successful by being used two or three days after the application. This timing works well because of their complementary effects on killing pests and destroying eggs, larvae, and pupae that may have survived the first treatment.
Pyrethrin and Rapeseed Oil
Amateur gardeners who are struggling with pest infestation have found hope in a new compound developed by scientists. The pyrethrum contained within the product, «Spruzid Neu,» was originally regarded as an effective weapon against potato bugs that plague many gardens around the world because it is so toxic to pests of all varieties. Unfortunately, due to their low tolerance for toxicity and high reproductive rate when exposed (leading them quickly developing immunity), these pesky little buggers learned how avoid being killed off by this popular solution- leading its efficacy down from 100% before they began adapting -to less than 20%. Despite what seemed like defeat at first glance though, thanks to long term research on both natural methods such as adding rapeseed oil
Although they may not be completely harmless, these pesticides are still approved for use by the BVL in small gardens. In Germany there is a database containing all of the allowed substances that can help to control pest infestations; it also contains information about when approval will expire on each substance.
Scientists have developed an organic way to get rid of any pesky potato bugs in the European Union. Approved for use is a chemical substance called spinosad which has proven effective against these pests, but also from special bacteria and amino sugars.
The use of the insecticide may only be carried out with special protective precautions such as wearing a full suit and gloves. The chemical can harm bees, so it should not come in contact with flowering plants or food crops.
In the ecologically managed garden, you can prevent an attack by potato bugs through a number of natural remedies. Stop them right away in the beginning with these practical methods and don’t let them develop resistance!
Horseradish liquid manure
Plant horseradish in your potato patches to keep destructive pests from laying eggs on them. Horseradish also helps control larvae at a very early stage!
To produce the liquid manure, follow these guidelines:
- layer one kilogram of fresh or 300 grams of dried horseradish in a wooden barrel
- pour over ten liters of collected, filtered rain water or stale tap water
- put outside on a sunny, warm place in your garden located offside
- cover the container with wire mesh and not wish a lid
- stir the liquid multiple times a day for oxygen to enter
Once you have made the homemade horseradish solution, it is important to keep up with spraying your plants every week. The liquid needs two weeks before application and can be sprayed on leaves or soil near a plant’s roots for best results. This also has the added benefit of leaving no chemicals behind because this is all natural!
The powerful powder of rock flour is a natural soil aid that can save your crops from pests. Rock flour not only helps to protect the potato plants, but also makes an excellent contribution in protecting other foliage on all types of farms and gardens. To defend against pest attacks you should make sure to use this fine material early in the morning by dusting it onto both top and bottom sides of leaves for maximum effect.
Adults as well as larvae are not immune to rock flour. It may be used alone, but it will still work better when mixed with other materials. And because you’re using a natural product that is environmentally friendly, your plants won’t suffer!
There are many house remedies for potato bugs, but coffee grounds are the best. To use this remedy in your own garden, sprinkle dried ground beans every 4 weeks on moist leaves that have reached a height of 10 cm and you should see good results! You may want to consider waiting longer between applications because it can lower pH levels if used too often.
The Thuja has many benefits to offer. One of them is that it can repel potato bugs and their infestation with its ingredients found within the plant. When you cut a piece off, make sure to save enough for making tea-topically applying the solution on potatoes will help prevent further infestations as well as treat problems at an early stage before they become worse than anticipated in size or scope.
In order to keep potato bugs at bay, wise eco-gardeners have discovered that spraying mint broth on their crops is effective. This discovery was made because these pests don’t like peppermint and the process of producing this liquid manure takes a short time. To make it, mix fresh plant parts with water and allow them to simmer for 30 minutes before straining out any solids or herbs you would not want in your spray solution; then cool it down so you can apply the concoction as soon as possible!
Defensive Plant Neighbors
One of the many advantages to growing a mixed-culture is that compatible plant neighbors are able protect each other against diseases and pests. Planting your potato plants next to these ornamental and cultivating plants will repel or irritate attacking bugs, causing them look for another area for their nursery school instead.
- The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is native to south-west North America and was first described by Thomas Say in 1824
- The beetle spread to Europe and Asia with potato imports in the late 19th and early 20th Century
- An adult beetle is around 10mm long and is orange or yellow with black or brown stripes
- The beetle’s main food is potato leaves — a single larva can eat 40 sq cm of leaf per day
- A single female beetle can lay up to 800 eggs in her lifetime
- Colorado potato beetles are very hard to get rid of as they are resistant to all major insecticide classes
- Colorado potato beetles are not established in the UK where they are a quarantine pest