Bugs on our potato plants

Asked July 23, 2018, 3:01 PM EDT

This year we planted both white and red potatoes. The white potato plants had bugs before the red potato plants and they were more numerous on the whites. We tried picking them off every day, but they just became more numerous. Finally we just pulled up the plants. No other plants in the garden are affected. How can we prevent this from happening next year? We live in an area where there are extensive potato fields that are sprayed. Does that have any effect on the potato plants in our garden? Thank you.

Hubbard County Minnesota insect management potatoes horticulture

5 Responses

What kind of bugs were they? Were they potato beetles? Here is a link to info about Colorado potato beetles. https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-insects/colorado-potato-beetles . I'm not sure what you mean about the potato fields being sprayed and affecting your garden. Does the spray drift to your garden? Otherwise it should almost make for less insects if they are being sprayed in commercial growing operations.

They are potato beetles. The spray does not drift to our gardens, but the potato beetles that survive leave the fields and invade our gardens. It happens to almost everyone who lives within a mile or so of the potato fields. They come by the hundreds and thousands. We didn't want to spray chemicals, so we tried peppermint oil and cedar wood oil, but to no avail. The smell of the oils didn't slow down the infestation. We finally gave up and pulled all the potato plants. However, we would like to plant potatoes next year. What can we do?

They are potato beetles. The spray does not drift to our gardens, but the potato beetles that survive leave the fields and invade our gardens. It happens to almost everyone who lives within a mile or so of the potato fields. They come by the hundreds and thousands. We didn't want to spray chemicals, so we tried peppermint oil and cedar wood oil, but to no avail. The smell of the oils didn't slow down the infestation. We finally gave up and pulled all the potato plants. However, we would like to plant potatoes next year. What can we do?

I don't really know what you can do about the large numbers due to the growers. What about a row cover? Do you have enough space to consider a high or low tunnel that you could close up? Here is a link about protective covers and structures. Click on the link to open the info. https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/extending-growing-season-start-early-end-later . There are also unconventional methods such as straw bales, containers and barrels that people use. You could cover them as well.

Thank you.