can't get rid of potatoe beatles for nothing. iv'e tried every organic recipe...

Asked July 9, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT

can't get rid of potatoe beatles for nothing. iv'e tried every organic recipe and now broke down to (seven), but they still show up and are attacking other plants. i'm losing, there winning

Vinton County Ohio

1 Response

Sorry to hear about your potato beetle infestation. First, it is important to be sure you are talking about the Colorado Potato Beetle. Please see attached photos of the adult and larvae to confirm that is what you are dealing with. These are from the University of Kentucky article on control of the Colorado Potato Beetle www2.ca.uky.edu/entomoloty/entfacts/ef312.asp. Another excellent resource to reference is from the Ohio State University www.ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/pdf/2204.pdf. In general, the potato beetle is challenging to control, because they have developed resistance to many insecticides. If your garden is small enough, hand picking the bugs and dropping them into soapy water may be your best option. If you see the red eggs on the underside of the leaves, or the larvae, remove them immediately. To minimize future beetle infestations, remove garden waste as soon as possible, and time your planting in such a way as to avoid the peak beetle life cycle infestaion. Potato plants can withstand considerable defoliation (up to 30%) without yield loss. Additionally, some beneficial insects such as birds, predatory stink bugs, and parasitic flies will help to reduce Colorado potato beetle numbers. If you use an insecticide, the best time for any effectiveness is when the larvae are in their early stage. It may take some trial and error to find an insecticide which is effective since they have developed resistance. As always with insecticides, be sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions.