Thursday, July 7, 2011

Attack!

Well they are here.  I've heard about them from the locals and we finally found one in our potato patch.


This is my first Colorado Potato Beetle. I never had them in Thunder Bay. We only found one along with this little clutch of eggs. The most common method of eradicating these hungry bugs is chemical.   Potatoes are on the top 10 list of foods that you should buy organic.  I've read about potato farmers that won't eat the potatoes that they sell to the grocery stores because the plants are so heavily dosed in pesticides.

Pesticides don't really jive with our hippy plan so we have to come up with an alternative defense.

Our options are:
  • Search and destroy
  • Neem oil spray
  • Predators such as ladybugs, lacewings, spiders...
  • BT
We have tons of predators already.  As we only saw one beetle, maybe they are already doing their job?  BT only works doing the larval stage and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Neem oil.  For now I guess we're going to do a regular search and destroy and see how that goes.

Have you had any success with keeping the beetle at bay?  What about companion plants?

8 comments:

  1. The one and only year we planted potatoes, I just picked the suckers, since they are so easy to spot. Worked well.

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  2. It also makes a good family fun filled event! I know how you are always thinking of ways to spend time with family Lisa!

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  3. they are actually quite pretty close up, like glass word beads.

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  4. They are nice looking and surprisingly large.

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  5. horseradish planted by the potatoes will help,the potatoes will still be beautiful under attack,ours can look terrible and still produce heavy crops.

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  6. I told my youngster I would give give 25 cents a bug and 25 cents a leaf with eggs on it.

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  7. if you've got a large crop, just take your tiger torch, and burn the plant. That way you're sure to get all of the eggs, larvae, and bugs. Do it daily, and they won't have a chance to spread, since they usually don't move on until the plant they're on is consumed.

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  8. Thanks for the tip Jay. We have 400 plants but we haven't seen any more beetles. We check a couple times a day.

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