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Potato Bugs Control

Kanika Khara May 6, 2019
If you are fed up of seeing your garden destroyed by potato bugs, continue reading, on potato bug control. It will provide you with some effective measures to get rid of this annoying pest.
Though mother nature has created different species of insects, of which some are useful to us in many ways like transferring pollen from one plant to another, there are others that are destructive and aggressive in nature. Hence, they often become the major reason for crop devastation.
One such insect is the potato bug, also called the Colorado potato beetle, which is a voracious and destructive pest of potato crops as well as other plant species belonging to the nightshade family, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and tobacco.
The potato bug is native to North America, often found in the western regions surrounding the Rocky Mountains. It is considered to be the most severe pest of potatoes, which to a large extent, can reduce the crop yield and even kill the plants. It is a black-and-yellow-striped bug, oval in shape, with 6 tan-colored legs, and about 6 to 11 mm in length.
Often found feeding on the potato leaves, an infestation of this insect has the capacity of destroying an entire crop yield in no time.

Effective Measures for Control

One of the most bothering potato bug facts is that like other pests, this has also developed a resistance to pesticides. Since a potato bug can grow from an egg into an adult in just 21 days, it can spread in your entire garden in no time and destroy your plants. Thus, to overcome these problems, here are some great control methods to destroy this pest.

Method #1

First and foremost, try to keep your garden clean of dirt and debris, as these pests thrive under such conditions. A lot depends on the plant's planting time as potato bugs usually emerge somewhere in early May.
Hence planting potatoes in April so that they do not bloom in early May can lessen the risks of damage to a large extent. You can also consider planting those varieties of potatoes that sprout in June as by this time, the bugs would have moved to some other location in search of food.

Method #2

Avoid planting potatoes or similar types of crops in the same spot every year as these pests live over winter in the soil. Hence, practice crop rotation as this will help in reducing the size of the infestation.

Method #3

This method is to introduce natural predators, like ladybug, spotted stink bug, spined soldier stink bug, that prey on the Colorado potato beetle eggs and help reduce the infestation, keeping potatoes bug-free.

Method #4

You can also try your hand at picking the bugs from the plants if your garden is not very big. However, remember to wear hand gloves and destroy the collected bugs by putting them in a can filled with kerosene or some soap-based insecticide.

Method #5

Use chemical insecticides or sprays like pyrethrins or organophosphates for controlling the potato bug infestation in case you have a large field of growing potatoes.
Also, you can create a mulch around the potato patch, about 4 inches deep, to discourage the potato bugs from entering your garden for feeding.
This was all about potato bugs and their control methods. Following these effective pest control methods will help to quite an extent in removing potato bugs from your house and garden.