Colorado potato beetles are native insects that can decimate your potato crop. They are common garden pests throughout the United States. Here’s some ideas for dealing with a Colorado potato beetle infestation.
Colorado Potato Beetle Infestation
Meet public enemy #1, at least around here this month…the Colorado potato beetle. The picture I took above doesn’t give you an idea of the full extent of the damage these awful pests have done to my potatoes. Not only do they infest potatoes, they’re working their way back in the garden towards the tomatoes. I’m afraid to plant my eggplant seedlings; they’re still in small pots on my front porch, well away from the infested areas, and last year my eggplants were eaten down to skeletons in one night.
- Find an old jar, like a spaghetti sauce jar that’s empty, or an old coffee can;
- Squire a tablespoon of dish washing liquid in the bottom;
- Fill a quarter of the container with hot water;
- Walk around your plants and flick the adults and larvae into the water, where they drown.
- Place lid on the jar.
- Repeat daily.
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.