Colorado Potato Beetle
The Colorado Potato Beetle (Image 1) was first recognized as a pest of potatoes in 1859 in Colorado where it switched from it’s normal host, buffalo bur and it reached the East coast by 1874.
Adult beetles overwinter in potato fields, field margins, windbreaks as well as home gardens. They become active about the same time potatoes emerge in the spring. They mate and the female lays eggs in clusters of 10 to 30 on the under side of the leaf (Image 2).
Colorado Potato Beetle eggs hatch within 2 weeks and the larvae (Image 3) moves around the plant eating the leaves. In as little as 10 days, depending on the temperature, the larvae complete development, drop to the ground, burrow in and pulpate. Adults then emerge in 5 to 10 days.
Resistance to pesticides is a problem in many areas when trying to control Colorado Potato Beetles. To combat this, if an insecticide is becoming less effective, rotate insecticides to increase effectiveness and always use Hi-Yield® Spreader Sticker with Natural Guard® Spinosad to increase its ability to adhere to the plant or Hi-Yield® Garden & Farm Insect Control.
The absolute BEST product for control of Colorado Potato Beetles is Natural Guard® Spinosad Soap. Spinosad is a natural product that is very effective on Colorado Potato Beetles. Natural Guard® Spinosad Soap has the benefit of insecticidal soap so you won't need Hi-Yield® Spreader Sticker, plus it will knock the beetles off the plant in minutes to die on the ground.
Ferti•lome® Triple Action and Natural Guard® Neem can suffocate adults, larvae and eggs, as well as leave a residue that can last for 3 or 4 days. Ferti•lome® Triple Action contains Neem/py. The addition of pyrethrins will make it more effective than the straight Neem. These are both natural products, with the Ferti•lome® Triple Action being OMRI® listed for organic use. Do NOT use Hi-Yield® Spreader Sticker with these two products.
Hi-Yield® Garden, Pet and Livestock Dust and Hi-Yield® Garden & Farm Insect Control are both very good for Colorado Potato Beetles. These both cover a wide range of insects and garden plants. Again, the addition of Hi-Yield® Spreader Sticker will increase the coverage and the residue, making it more effective.
In wet years when you need a dust that lasts longer, Hi-Yield® Multi-Use Dust leaves a much more persistent residue and is very effective.