Potato Bug, also known as Colorado potato beetle, is an insect that is native to North America, that too its western regions around the Rocky Mountains. As its name suggests, the bug is very harmful for the potato crops. However, it even attacks plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, tobacco and other species belonging to the nightshade family. Potato bugs are usually oval in shape, of 6 to 11 mm, and have 6 tan-colored legs. Their shell is orange-yellow in color, with vertical black stripes, and the head is tan, with black markings. From a single plant, the infestation of potato bugs can easily grow to cover the entire garden. Check out the remedies given below and know how to kill potato bugs, at home.
How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs
- Clean your garden on a regular basis, in order to clear out all the dirt and debris. This is because field debris gives potato bugs a shelter, where they can lie dormant in winters and thrive.
- In order to protect your potatoes from the potato bug, ensure that you do not plant potatoes in the same spot every year.
- Potato bugs have a number of natural predators, like the Ladybug, the Stinkbug, or the Spined Soldierbug. Introducing such insects into your garden will ensure that it remains potato bug-free.
- Infestation by potato bugs is at the maximum around the month of May. Plant your potatoes in April, so that they will be able to take the leaf damage that occurs due to the existence of potato bugs.
- You can also plant those potato varieties that sprout in June. This way, by the time the plants will spout, potato bugs would have moved to some other location, to find food.
- If your garden is not too big, you can handpick the bugs from the plants. Though it is a bit gross, it is definitely one of the most efficient and least harmful ways to control potato bugs.
- In order to handpick potato bugs, slip on a pair of gloves. Take an old can and fill it with kerosene or a soap-based insecticide. Pick off as many bugs as you can and drop them into the can.
- For those who have large scale potato produce, the only solution is to use chemical sprays like pyrethirns or organo-phosphates, for controlling infestations. However, it is always advisable to consult a horticulturist for the same.