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Gross Bugs On My Potatoes?

Colorado Potato Beetle..... AKA potato bugs. The pinkish beetle looking creature is the potato bug in its adolescence stage of life. The yellow area located on the underside of the leaf is the potato bug’s eggs.

A little about this potatoes pest, and how to get rid of them!

The Colorado Potato Beetle (Potato Bug)

  • The most common pests that attack potatoes

  • Adults are active in the spring

    • They are hard-shelled and round in shape

    • They are yellow/reddish with black stripes and spots

  • Potato beetle eggs are bright yellow and oval-shaped and are laid on the underside of leaves, usually in clusters of 30 or so

  • The larvae are reddish/pinkish/orangish in colour with blackheads and legs. They have two rows of black spots along each side of their bodies

  • Adults as well as larvae feed on foliage and are capable of defoliating entire plants

  • How to get rid of them

    • The beetle is resistant to many pesticides

    • Hand-picking

    • Neem oil

    • Diatomaceous earth

  • The colorado potato beetle will overwinter in the soil so crop rotation is important

  • These pests can also feed on eggplant, tomato and pepper plants

    • Same nightshade family as potatoes

How we are tackling the bug situation in our garden.

We have two 4x8 foot beds planted with potatoes this year but only one bed has the beetles attacking its plants. We have removed some of the badly damaged leaves and have applied pyrethrin insecticide powder.

This product is derived from chrysanthemum flowers and is considered an organic insecticide. It works by targeting the nervous system of insects but is harmless to humans.

Learn more about growing potatoes from our guide!

Why raised planter beds for potatoes?

"Planting potatoes in raised beds is one of the best ways to grow them. You will have fewer weeds competing for nutrients with your plants, also less weeds to pull. Potatoes need loose well-draining soil to grow, so raised beds produce higher yields"

Have you had to deal with these pests or any other plant diseases in your garden?

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