Pest!! Even the name is enough to scare a farmer or a gardener. Who wants pests in their field or garden? However, of course, thins don’t usually end up on your clauses.
Everything was going smoothly. You and your plants were happy. You were giving them lots of love and care. In addition, plants were returning you that love with interest. However, life is full of unexpectantly. Unfortunately, your plants are now infested with POTATO —-!
Then name may sound funny, but they can severely damage to your crops. So what to do now?
How do you get rid of potato bugs in California? Well, no matter where you live, I will help you.
Lets us understand what are potato bugs? And tips to get rid of Potato bugs. So read this article until the end.
Potato bugs are considered a pest by both gardeners and farmers. These bugs are dangerous for your plant.
But why are they called Potato bugs? Potato bugs got their name as they specifically attack potato plants. This doesn’t mean other crops are safe from them. They also cause damage to peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant plants.
When we say potato bugs, it generally consists of two different kinds of potato bugs:
– Jerusalem cricket
– Colorado potato beetle
What do potato bugs look like?
Well, to identify Potato bugs you don’t need to be an insectologist. You can easily locate them on shoots, leaves, or stems.
Jerusalem crickets are not actually crickets. They are of the same order but very different. They hiss instead of chirping. They are nocturnal creatures and therefore live on the surface of the soil.
– It usually is 2-2.5 inches long.
– They have a huge head for their hue body.
– They use their thick limbs to dig the soil.
– Their legs are red and yellow-colored.
– They midsections have black-brown stripes.
– They look like a giant ant.
Colorado Potato Beetles
Colorado Potato Beetles are a dangerous pests for a garden or a field. These tiny-looking creatures are so fatal that people were convinced to use a flamethrower on them.
– These tiny round-shaped beetles are usually 3/8th of an inch.
– They have a hard-shelled body covered with black and white stripes.
– They have an orange-colored head.
– They multiply quickly. They lay 30 eggs at a time.
Are potato bugs bad?
Potato bugs are harmful to your crops. They feed the leaves and stems of the plant. If they are in large number they can totally destroy the plant.
They mainly attack potato crops. They can affect the development of tubers.
Jerusalem Crickets are considered dangerous when they come in swarms. Otherwise, they are less fatal they Colorado beetles.
Jerusalem Crickets most feed on Tubers, roots, fruits, and other pests. Therefore, they are more of natural pest-controllers and decomposer.
Colorado Potato Beetles:
Colorado Potato Beetles are a real threat to your plants. Larvae or adults both destroy the potato plants. They not only attack potato plants but also feed on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.
Facts that make Colorado Potato Beetles dangerous
They can develop an anti-resistance to insecticides. They multiply quickly. At once, a female potato bug can lay 30 eggs. Moreover, they can lay over 500+ eggs in a week.
What do potato bugs eat?
You can spot them easily on your plants, flowers, or vegetation. They are often seen feeding on Potato leaves and stems.
Look for holes in your plants. In addition, you can directly look for beetles, their larvae, etc.
If you spot a Colorado Potato beetle in your garden, take remedial steps as soon as possible.
Methods to control Potato bugs
We can keep these notorious small bugs out of your garden in the following ways:
This is a face-to-face battle with these bugs. Slowly and gently, pluck those bugs from your plants. Then drop them into a soapy water dish.
Cover the surface of the soil with any material such as compost, straws, bark, etc. It will act as a cover for your plant’s root. In addition, they will retain moisture of soil, suppress weeds, and accentuate the beauty of your garden.
Try to put a simple trap for these potato bugs. Apply petroleum on a thin sheet and place it where you spot beetles. These bugs will stick to these sheets and then you can easily discard them.
You can simply avoid potato beetles by crop rotation. You can grow Sweet potatoes, ginger, beets, parsnips, garlic, etc.
Bring home some natural pest controllers such as Chicken, Birds, Toads, Turtles, etc.
You can check this article about some natural pest controllers.
Spray natural insecticides:
You can spray neem oil on your plants. Neem is a native plant of India and Pakistan. It is known for its medicinal properties.
As mentioned above, potato beetles become resistant to insecticides thus you should be careful while choosing one for you.
You can choose any one of them:
- Apple viper Dust
- Bacillus thuriniensis