Kids’ Valley Garden

Potato Bugs

a bug!

  • Potato bugs eat potato leaves. This will eventually kill the plant because it can’t produce chlorophyll which is a plant food source.
  • Adult beetles are about 1/3 of an inch long (50mm) with orangey-red coloured heads and a black bodies and yellow stripes.
  • They attach their orange eggs to the underside of leaves.
  • When the larva hatch they are orangey-red with two rows of black dots down each side.
  • You can pick off the eggs, larva or the adult beetles from the plant and squash them.
  • Remember to search the underside of the leaves when looking for the eggs.
  • If you have well-fed chickens enclosed in a potato patch they will find and eat the pests.
  • Mulch well and use a floating row cover.
  • This will only work against the Colorado Potato Bug because they can survive through the winter in the soil.
  • If you plant potatoes in a different location each year it will reduce the number of bugs ’hibernating’ in the soil.
  • You can apply pesticides called Bacillus Thuringiensus, Pyrethrum, or Pyrethrum and Rotenone mixed to kill potato bugs.
  • Read the directions very carefully and ask for an adult’s help to mix it properly.
  • Diatomaceous earth is a special mixture you can buy at a gardening store that can destroy the larvae.
  • Again, read the instructions carefully before applying it to your potato plants.
  • If your garden is under severe attack, apply Bacillus Thunngiens San Diego (“M-One”, “Bonide’s Colorado Potato Beetle”, etc.) as soon as larva begin feeding.
  • Be sure to penetrate leaf and flower buds with the spray and don’t wait to use it.
  • It can be very effective on the larvae but it doesn’t work on adult bugs.
  • In Peru there is a wasp called Edovum Puttleri that will destroy the Colorado potato beetles.
  • They are commercially available but you should read about them first and consult an expert before you try this method of control.

bugs caring


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