How to deal with the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes — Garden

How to poison the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes

Colorado potato beetle is like a natural disaster. So, farmers, villagers and summer residents of areas whose fields and vegetable gardens are infected with this insect are considered. Fighting it is extremely difficult even with pesticides because of its high resistance to poisons. In addition, the beetle in the next generation produces a strong immunity to most chemicals.

Solanaceous crops suffer — potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and to a lesser extent, peppers, whose harvest from insect invasion can be halved. What to do? How to deal with the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes, we will describe in this article.

What is the Colorado potato beetle

It is believed that the birthplace of this harmful insect is the northeast of Mexico, from where it moved to the USA in the 19th century, and in the middle of the 20th century, after several unsuccessful attempts, it consolidated in Europe. On the territory of the former Soviet Union, the Colorado potato beetle appeared first in Ukraine, then in the Kaliningrad region and the Baltic states. It was from there that he began his march across the country and from the beginning of 2000 he even occurs in Primorye.

The Colorado potato beetle is a pretty pretty insect, medium in size, about 1 cm long, with an orange head and belly. The elytra is convex, creamy-white, with black stripes. The beetle larvae are bright orange in color. During the season, one female lays an average of 500-700 eggs.

Beetles hibernate, burrowing into the ground to a depth of 20 to 50 cm. Their life span is 1 year, although some individuals live up to 3 years. Pests can fall into diapause for up to 3 years, which helps to survive the hungry years (for example, when a crop is grown on a field that is unsuitable for them to eat). This makes it very, very difficult to fight beetles.

Colorado when eating tops of Solanaceae accumulate alkaloid solanine, which is toxic to most animals and birds. Because of this, they have few natural enemies who are not able to contain the beetle population.

Methods of dealing with the Colorado potato beetle

Potatoes — the culture that suffers from the Colorado potato beetle the most. On large fields, they fight it with the help of systemic insecticides, which give a good effect for several years, since insects get used to them more slowly than to other poisons. But residual doses of drugs along with vegetables fall on our table. True, genetic modified varieties of potatoes are now bred, the Colorado potato beetle does not eat, but who knows that it is safer to eat us — GMOs or poisons?

How to poison the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes is a burning question for any summer resident who wants to feed his family with safe, environmentally friendly products. Unfortunately, modern science has not yet invented universal science from this pest. But to fight him can and should be.

We will tell you how to get rid of the Colorado potato beetle, give a few recipes of folk remedies for its destruction on potatoes, consider chemical preparations designed to combat the pest.

Potato Pretreatment

I really do not want to mess with the Colorado potato beetle in the summer. What process potatoes before planting so that the pests do not appear on it? There is a triple-action drug, Matador Grand, which protects the plant from many diseases and pests. Potato tubers should be sprayed as indicated in the instructions immediately before planting. But note that the tool is toxic, its validity is 60-70 days and is unsuitable for processing early potatoes. Well helps to cope with the Colorado potato beetle mix Maxim with Prestige — drugs with the same period of disintegration.

For the treatment of tubers of early potatoes, you can use the Cruiser or Taboo — products that are valid for about 45 days.

Comment! The question is how much we trust domestic and foreign chemistry. Reviews of the safety of such drugs for humans are ambiguous.

Crop rotation

We are often advised to observe crop rotation — for five years not to plant solanaceous, including potatoes, in the old place, then, they say, everything will be fine. Indeed, for us to get rid of the Colorado potato beetle in a natural way, it should take 4-5 years, because it can fall into diapause (a kind of anabiosis). But…

What to change with? Potatoes with tomatoes or sweet peppers? At 6 or even 20 hundred square meters, it is simply unrealistic to defend oneself against beetles by crop rotation. We will plant potatoes 10 meters from the former place. Do you think the Colorado potato beetle will not find it? He can fly. Generally, do not plant 5 years or potatoes or tomatoes?

The fight against the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes by planting around the perimeter of garlic, wormwood, celandine, marigolds, nasturtiums, or other plants, the smell of which the insect does not like, does not give the desired effect. Fly a pair of beetles through the «odorous» barrier, and all. If someone wants to try joint planting, that is, alternate, for example, tobacco and potatoes — try. You lose both time and nerves.

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Comment! Crop rotation is good for large farms.

Preventive measures

With the prevention of the appearance of the Colorado potato beetles on the potato field is difficult. In addition to crop rotation, which we strongly recommend all sources, although it is almost impossible to provide it on 6 acres, we recommend:

  • spud potatoes as high as possible;
  • a good remedy is straw mulch, it is believed that bugs cannot stand its smell;
  • regularly loosen the potato rows;
  • After harvesting, carefully remove plant residues.

Folk methods

In regions where the beetle has been destroying the potato crop for more than half a century, many ways have been accumulated to combat it. They are quite effective, you can choose a few at your discretion, alternate during the season and grow a good crop without any chemicals.

Collecting beetles by hand

The best but very troublesome remedy for the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes is the collection of adult individuals and larvae by hand. At the bottom of the bucket pour kerosene or a little saturated saline (salt should be enough to stop dissolving in water), collect the beetles and throw them into the liquid. Bright orange larvae are always located on the underside of the potato leaf, pick it and throw it into the bucket. Be careful not to get the bugs out of the tank.

Comment! If you can overcome the natural disgust, then quickly acquire dexterity. This operation does not take much time.

Ash on guard of the harvest

Treating potatoes from the Colorado potato beetle with ashes is an excellent tool. That’s just ashes need a lot. For those gardeners who do not drown wood in the winter, this method of control may be a problem.

  • Early in the morning, over the dew, after watering or rain, sprinkle the soil and tops of potatoes with sifted ash, consuming 10 kg of ash per 1 hundred weave. This should be done before flowering — twice a month, after — monthly.
  • Prepare 10 liters of the solution from a grated piece of laundry soap, 2 liters of sifted ash and water. In dry, windless weather, handle planting potatoes.

Spraying infusions

Vegetable infusions and decoctions can be successfully applied from the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes. It is important to consider the following:

  • The pest quickly adapts to poisons, infusions need to be alternated.
  • For spraying used allelopathic plants. They not only restrain the invasion of beetles, but also inhibit the growth of potatoes. So the harvest will be environmentally friendly, but it will be 10-14 days late. And it hurts to hit the pockets of people who grow early potatoes for sale.
  • Processing infusions will not destroy all pests, but will only reduce their number and prevent the spread.
  • If there are many beetles, herbal remedies will not give results, you will have to use chemicals.

Tip! If you are going to use infusions for potato processing, do not wait for the pests to spread. Start with preventive spraying.

We offer you the following recipes decoctions and infusions:

  1. Fill the bucket with celandine grass, cover with water, boil for 15 minutes. Strain, for the processing of potatoes in a bucket of water, add 0.5 liters of the resulting broth.
  2. 300 g of peeled onion peel fill with a bucket of hot water, leave for a day.
  3. A kilogram of green leaves of a walnut, and even better 0.5 kg of chopped green fruits, pour boiling water on it, leave for a week.
  4. 300 g of crushed wormwood pour in a bucket of boiling water, leave to cool.
  5. 100 g of red hot pepper boil for 1.5-2 hours in 10 liters of water.
  6. 1 kg of green leaves and stepsons of tomatoes fill with warm water for the night, putting the load on top.
  7. In 10 l of water dissolve 100 g of tar.
  8. 200 g of garlic (heads and / or tops with arrows) cut, leave in a bucket of water for 1 day.
  9. 200 g of tobacco dust insist in 10 liters of water for 3 days.

Spraying potatoes is best done in the evening in calm weather on dry leaves, adding to the solution 2-3 spoons of liquid soap for better adhesion. Remember that it does not make sense to prepare herbal infusions for the future, as they are not subject to storage, they deteriorate after a short time.

We offer to watch a video about the destruction of the Colorado beetles:


Not every gardener will manually collect beetles on potatoes, but it will be troublesome to prepare and use herbal infusions. Not everyone has the time to prepare them, especially city dwellers who come to the country from time to time. It happens that they planted potatoes, but they missed the appearance of beetles, they did not have time to look back, but they were already eating the tops. It remains only to poison chemicals, so as not to lose the crop. According to the method of exposure, they are divided as follows:

  • systemic drugs;
  • contact drugs;
  • biological preparations.

Systemic drugs

Require extreme caution. Most effective, they are not washed off with water, have the longest effect, do not cause habituation in beetles. For their destruction 2-3 sprays with a systemic preparation are sufficient. But potatoes treated with systemic poisons accumulate toxic substances that are dangerous to humans. The time of their decay is necessarily indicated on the package. Early potatoes systemic drugs are not processed.


Corado, Konfidor, Iskra Gold, Warrant, Colorado, Commodore, Image, Imidor, Zenith, Monsoon, Zhukomor, Tanrek, Masterpiece, Prestige, etc.

Contact preparations

Correspond to the name. They are not absorbed into the plant, respectively, do not accumulate in it. There are contact drugs on beetles with direct contact. Easily washable and addictive. Therefore, it is impossible to process potatoes with only one preparation, it is better to alternate them. Dates for potato consumption after spraying should be indicated on the package.

Aktara, Doctor, Decis, Match, etc.

Biological preparations

Are the safest. Created on the basis of spore bacteria that cause digestive system disorders in beetles, which makes them sick and die. You need to process potatoes at least 3 times with an interval of 7 days. Biological preparations do not accumulate in tubers, they can be eaten after 5 days.

Agrovertin, Bitoxibacillin, Bicol, Fitoverm, Dendrobatsilin, Batsikol, etc.

Important! Whatever means you use, before spraying potatoes from the Colorado potato beetle, do not forget to wear a respirator and rubber gloves.


Unfortunately, there is no universal remedy. The only thing that can comfort is that science does not stand still; new items appear on the market every year. It is hoped that the joint efforts of domestic and foreign scientists will lead to the appearance on the market of a safe for people drug, which in one treatment will save us from the annoying beetle.

Potato Bug

What is a potato bug and how do you get rid of it?

You have finally planted that vegetable garden that you have always been talking about planting and are now caring for it waiting for that moment when you can harvest your crop.

Then you wake up one morning and find many bugs on the leaves of your potato plants.

First of all to resolve the problem, you must understand which are the different insects that could be affecting your plants.

Common Bugs in Potatoes

There are actually several insects that love the taste of potato and other vegetable leaves; while some may munch and do next to no damage others can actually destroy your entire potato crop. So, let’s mention the most common kinds of potato bugs and ways you can get rid of them in a safe and natural way.

— The Colorado Potato Beetle

This bug has literally eaten its way across country one potato plant after another. Is a yellowish bug with brown stripes running the length of its back and it is one of the most destructive bugs to potatoes. These bugs seem to appear overnight and can completely destroy a potato crop in a relatively short time.

To keep your potatoes safe from these beetles it is wise to take some preventative measures before they appear.

Two great natural methods are:

dig a trench around your potato field and line it with plastic

sprinkle a light dusting of soil in the trench

For some reason these beetles can walk on plastic but when the plastic is dusty with soil they cannot seem to get across.

— The Blister Beetle

The blister beetle ranges in size from 3/4 of an inch to 1 ВЅ inches long. These are usually found near range lands and deserts and will feed on the leaves of your potato plants. While your plant leaves may look a bit raggedy the blister beetle usually does little or no harm to the potatoes themselves, so they are usually just left alone.

These small beetles are called that way because they hop like a flea from plant to plant and don’t just confine their eating to your potato plants. It is actually the larvae that causes the real damage as it burrows under the skin of the tuber leaving it susceptible to bacteria, fungus and rot. Once they infest your garden they are difficult to get rid of.

— There is also the Jerusalem cricket known as potato bug, has been found eating potatoes among other tubers and their size is normally around 1 to almost 3 inches long.

How to Avoid the Potato Bug Problem

Preventing the infestation of these potato bugs is essential to controlling them.

One effective way is to plant what is called trap crops such as giant mustard a distance from your vegetable plants. Trap plants are plants that the bug likes better than the tomatoes and potatoes so they migrate to what for them is a gourmet meal and feed off those plants, like cabbage and eggplant.

You can also grow companion plants in your vegetable garden.

Companion plants are either other vegetables, ornamental plants or grasses that the flea beetle hates, for example marigold, coriander, horseradish (at the corners).

Planting these between rows of plants that the flea beetles do eat can keep these pests from destroying your entire garden if they do decide to visit.

To save time read some tips for leaving them already set up.

The purple color can give a twist in the appearance of many dishes.

Potatoes are a staple food for all holiday seasons in many homes.

New potatoes are mostly used for the delicate look they bring to a plate.

The term whipped potatoes can make many wonder what exactly it entails.

Colorado Potato Beetle Control for Healthy Potatoes, Eggplant, Peppers and More

This article is part of our Organic Pest Control Series, which includes articles on attracting beneficial insects, controlling specific garden pests, and using organic pesticides.

Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata)

The most common problem encountered when growing potatoes, Colorado potato beetle adults and larvae feed on the leaves and blossoms of potatoes, and may also be seen on eggplant, tomatoes or peppers. Badly hit plants produce poorly because so many leaves are consumed. Organic controls for Colorado potato beetles include crop rotation, mulching with straw, handpicking and maintaining good insect balance in the garden so that a wide variety of natural predators are present. Plastic-lined trenches can capture potato beetles before they find plants. Many populations of Colorado potato beetles are resistant to most pesticides, so organic methods should always be used when growing potatoes.

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What Is the Colorado Potato Beetle?

Native to the American Southwest, Colorado potato beetles are now found wherever potatoes are grown. Emerging in mid to late spring, just as potatoes begin growing vigorously, Colorado potato beetle adults are striking yellow-and-black striped beetles with black dots on their orange heads. Adults are often seen lurking in potato foliage, looking for mates. Much more visible are the reddish, soft-bodied larvae that appear a few weeks later, often clustered near the tips of growing branches. As they grow, the larvae develop a row of black dots down each side. When feeding on eggplant, the larvae may be gray in color rather than red.

What Colorado Potato Beetle Damage Looks Like

Colorado potato beetle larvae are leaf-eating machines. If growing potato plants have developed flower buds by the time the larvae settle in to feed, they may migrate to the buds and consume them overnight. In the worst uncontrolled cases, Colorado potato beetles can completely strip plants of all foliage. However, in diversified organic gardens, this pest is more likely to appear in sporadic clusters on individual plants, because many of its natural predators consume eggs and young larvae. Where plenty of lady beetles, ground beetles and small wasps are present, only the best-hidden clusters of orange eggs survive.

Colorado Potato Beetle Life Cycle

In late summer, Colorado potato beetles fly to nearby wooded areas and overwinter beneath bark or other cover. In mid-spring, they emerge and walk until they find potatoes or another suitable host plant. After a little light feeding, mated females lay clusters of orange eggs on leaf undersides. The eggs hatch about two weeks later, and the larvae feed for a couple of weeks before entering their pupal stage. In cool weather the entire life cycle can take 45 days or more, but 30 days is more typical. This means that a second generation can emerge at the perfect time to sabotage midseason potatoes.

Natural Enemies of Colorado Potato Beetles

Numerous natural predators can assist in the struggle to manage Colorado potato beetles. These include lady beetles, toads, birds, predatory stink bugs, ground beetles, and several species of tiny parasitic wasps. In addition, foraging chickens and ducks have a long history of success as potato beetle predators.

Organic Colorado Potato Beetle Control

Planting plenty of flowers that attract beneficial insects is a sound strategy, along with maintaining seldom-disturbed islands that provide habitat for ground beetles. Try to tolerate small outbreaks of aphids in early spring in order to provide food for ladybeetles.

Also consider these organic controls for Colorado potato beetles, listed in seasonal order.

  • Crop rotation is essential when growing potatoes. The farther adult beetles must walk to find host plants, the more likely they are to meet with disaster along the way.
  • When ridging up the bed to plant potatoes, include a 12-inch deep trench, cut at a 45-degree angle, on the sides of the planting. Line the trench with black plastic. As they crawl toward the potatoes, winter-weak potato beetle adults fall into the trench and cannot get out.
  • Mulch potatoes with hay or straw after they are up and growing, but before Colorado potato adults find them. Adults that fall into the crevices of straw mulch enter a dangerous world with plenty of predators.
  • Install floating row covers over potatoes after they have been mulched. Open the covers weekly to check for the presence of any adults or larvae, and remove them. Row covers work beautifully to prevent this potato pest, but lucky individuals occasionally emerge and prosper beneath them.
  • If you have a home poultry flock, allow them to forage in the potato patch under supervision after the plants are more than a foot tall. They will gather most of the adults but will miss some larvae.
  • Handpick both adults and larvae whenever you see them. Squash them under your shoe, drown them in soapy water, or feed them to your chickens. Once you see a few larvae, handpick daily.
  • Try resistant varieties like ‘King Harry’, which has so many leaf hairs that Colorado potato beetles find the leaves unpalatable.
  • Find space in your potato patch to interplant a few buckwheat plants. They will bloom at just the right time to attract predatory wasps and flies.
  • Spray with spinosad when so many larvae are present that nothing else will do. Continue to handpick as intensively as possible.

More Advice on Organic Colorado Potato Beetle Control

Keep a close watch on your growing potatoes in spring, and do not allow the first generation to triple itself by the time your potatoes grow into big, robust plants. Any mulch with a straw-like texture, including coarse grass clippings, can keep populations low. Always rotate crops, and try to plant potatoes after a grain. Do all you can to provide food and habitat for beneficial wasps, flies, ladybeetles, and predatory stink bugs. Scout for eggs if adults are seen, using a small hand-held mirror to get a good look at leaf undersides.

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