Colorado Potato Beetle: Interesing Facts & How to Get Rid of Them

Colorado potato beetle on the white.

The beauty of nature depends upon the tiny crawling creatures, the massive beasts, the flying birdies, the colorful butterflies and the lush green plantations. Anyone of these elements cannot be ignored. Nature is the total of all these beauties. Not a single feature of the vast world can be ignored.  Among the beautiful existences, is the Colorado potato beetle?

About the Colorado potato beetle

The Colorado potato beetle is a known form of a beetle. It has got some other names too in the world of wildlife. These names include a potato bug, ten lines potato beetle, ten striped spearmen and the Colorado beetle. It is considered as the primary source of damage to the potato crop. It is usually characterized due to its small size and the bright yellow body covered with five stripes of brown colors.

1. Description

Close-up Colorado potato beetle and larvae on the green leaves of potatoes in the garden sunlight.The adult beetles have a tiny body. Their body measures merely 6 to 11 mm in length and 3 mm in width. Their bodies are characterized because of the yellow tint covered with black stripes that are ten in number. These stripes cover the elytra. They derive the species from the word decemlineata that is because of the ten stripes on the body.  The potato beetle grows out of an orange-pink larva that is characterized by the nine segments on the body. Throughout the developmental stage, the head has black color.

2. Hosts

The Colorado potato beetles usually feed on the potato as hosts. The other factors of nature on which it feeds include plants like belladonna, ground cherry, eggplant, tobacco, tomato and the thorn apple.  They sometimes like to feed on the plants belonging to the non-solanaceous family.

Organic methods for getting rid of CPB

The Colorado potato beetles are a great danger for the potato crop in any particular area. Hence it is extremely significant to get rid of them as soon as the first signs of the beetle appear in the locality. There are some remedial treatments available on the market, but there are still many people who want to opt for the organic ways to get rid of the Colorado potato beetle. Such natural methods comprise of pure domestically available compounds that can eradicate the threat of the potato beetles. The remedies are going to work if they are used well in time. Once the farmer gets the first sign of the beetle in his farm; he needs to take the immediate step. The results are going to be amazing if the action is taken well in time. Some recommended organic solutions to the problem of the Colorado potato beetle are as follows:Neem oil and seeds on the white.

  • Neem oil is proved to be an excellent remedy to check the growth of the Colorado beetle at all stages.
  • To completely kill the menace starts hand picking the adult beetle, its eggs, and larvae from the affected parts. Dissolve some soap in the water to create a soapy solution. Just put the handpicked creatures into the solution and see the results.
  • One of the most effective non-chemical ways to kill the beetles organically is to use the vacuums.  Apart from the small vacuums for indoor cleaning, specialized garden vacuums are also available in the market.

Hence, if you find the bugs bothering you around don’t worry, just search for these simpler tools and solve it with the help of the east to get materials from your home.

Protecting plants from CPB

The potato plant is the most affected plantation. The Colorado beetle is likely to destroy the whole farm of potatoes once it hits it. In these conditions, it becomes inevitable to find a solution. Besides the potato crop, they also cause damage to the crops of eggplants, peppers, tomatoes and petunias. The tubers remain safe from their possible attack. The beetles make the plant weak by damaging their roots, and especially leaves that reduces the capacity to produce their food through the photosynthesis.

1. Floating row covers

Farmland with row of seedling pocking out of the plastic cover.It is crucial to make sure that the pests do not reach the plant. This is possible only when the plants are completely protected. The protective layers made out of a thin floating material are used after the plants are sown. These covers also result in the excessive heat. Therefore they need to be removed before tubers appear. If they are covered in the times of tubers, then they can retard the flowering in the potato plants.

2. Companion planting

It is a kind of agricultural technique in which a plant is saved from the possible pest attack by planting some helpful plantations near it. These plantations can easily check the development of the harmful pests around the plant. To control the Colorado beetles, the host plants like those of potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant are surrounded by the protective plants like Catnip, Coriander, Eucalyptus, Green Bean, Marigold, Nasturtium, Onion, and Tansy. These plants can be helpful in limiting the Colorado beetles.

3. Mulch with straw

The straw mulch is an attractive option especially for those who want to find an organic way to fight against the pest danger. The straw mulch is of several types. A dense layer of the straw mulch can keep the Colorado potato beetles away from the potato plant. The straw mulch hides the plant and makes it impossible for the CPB to reach the host plant. Thus, the role of the straw mulch is that of a microenvironment.  

4. Plant resistant early varieties

The Colorado beetles usually enter the potato populations during the summer. Plant the potato species so that it can be harvested earlier than harvesting season gets closer. These species can be easily obtained from the agricultural centers in your area. They include the types like Yukon Gold, Caribe, and Superior

Other ways to get rid of CPB

Apart from using the above stated agro-based remedies against the Colorado potato beetles. There are some other remedial steps available also. These actions are equally beneficial in controlling the spreading of the CPB. Some essential ways are as follows:

1. Cultural control

Potato infested with Colorado potato beetles isolated on the white background.The cultural control refers to the plantation o the species that can grow earlier than the real period of harvest. There are several ways to find out about the possible varieties.  Getting the related information from the seed catalogs is easy. It can be helpful in the search for the species that can help in the cultural control. The crop repetition is not a suggested because there are chances that the beetle will return as soon as the temperature rises. The pest control experts recommend that the potatoes must be grown in alternate years.

2. Biological control

Nature has created the remedy for these pests. Instead of going for the non-organic treatments it is better to resort to the organic and natural options. Certain naturally occurring pests consider CPB as their primary host. These include stink bugs and lady beetles. They can kill the potato beetles in an efficient manner.  The biological control also involves the use of several microbes and the insecticides. Bacillus thuringite NSIS var. tenebrionids are an active microbe that paralyzes the beetle’s activity. It also checks the larvae, and within few days the beetle growth comes to a standstill and in some cases completely ends. Insecticides are usually artificially created. They are easily available in markets for use. Due to active chemical composition, they have to be used very carefully.

3. Chemical control

There are several chemical compounds available in the market to treat the beetles. The chemicals are very effective way of getting rid of the beetles, but at the same time, they are hazardous for the human and the animal life and some other plants also. The chemicals, therefore, must be chosen with great care. Instead of going for any chemical blindly it is better to select a registered chemical. The chemical agents include sprays that can be easily used against the beetles. The commonly used chemicals against the Colorado beetles include Diamides, Benzoylureas, Spinosyns, Neonicotinoids, Pyrethroids, and Organophosphates.

Conclusion

The Colorado potato beetles are the tiny creatures that look attractive and beautiful while moving around freely, but at the same time they are a major danger to the plants of potato, tomato, and eggplants. It is vital to keep a close eye on his farms to keep checking the visit of the beetles. The farmers have to be very vigilant in the summers as this is the time when the beetles hit the potato farms. Before their arrival, the owner must make all necessary preparations to get rid of them. It is advisable to grow the pre-season crops to avoid business losses. Straw is an excellent way to hide the plants and stop the beetles from reaching them. The floating covers are a great way to keep away the Colorado potato beetles. If they are treated with professional care and advice, it will be possible to control them for a longer time.

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