Jul 13

Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetle

The Adult

Looks innocent enough, right? But the female Colorado Potato Beetle will lay batches of about 30 eggs on the undersides of leaves of the potato. She can do this multiple times throughout the growing season.

They are sometimes also found on peppers and eggplant.

potato beetle eggs

The eggs

Within a week or two the eggs will hatch and the larva begin to grow.
And they are very hungry!

They can strip a plant clean of all of its leaves in a short period of time.

 Colorado Potato Beetle

Voracious teens.

One way to deal with them is to find the eggs and destroy those leaves.
Once they hatch you can pick them off by hand and drop into sudsy water.
Keep at it until any signs of them are gone. The final stage before adulthood includes them burrowing into the soil.
Once they become adults they are much more difficult to deal with because they will fly away.

Colorado Potato Beetle

Ants helping with cleanup.

If the infestation is bad you may want to use BT, which is an organic insecticide and considered safe to use on food crops.
Always keep in mind that an insecticide may kill good bugs as well, so use them as a last resort.

2 comments

    • Gloria Monroe on July 6, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Thankfully I have been spared from these horrid creatures, the squash bugs more than make up for me not having these to contend with!

      • gjones on July 12, 2015 at 11:14 am
        Author

      We’re just the opposite here. Knock on wood never had squash bugs.

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