Sunday, July 11, 2010

Potato Beetles

Shows what I know.  What I've been thinking are cucumber beetles all along, are actually potato beetles.  Potato beetles are striped, while cucumber beetles are spotted.  It is their larva that is all over my potato plants and not baby slugs.  I, well my potato plants that is, might be in trouble as according to potatobeetle.org the larva is what will do the most damage to your plants as they eat and grow.  An the best method of control is GETTING RID OF THE ADULTS AND EGGS (the little clusters of yellow eggs under your leaves) BEFORE THEY HATCH.  So, we're umm, in trouble.  The good news is that potatoes can take quite a bit of foliage abuse and still produce the tubers.  The bad thing is that my flowers were eaten and I don't know how that will affect tuber growth.  We shall see.

Other lessons:
~They are very resistant to insecticides and will easily develop chemical resistance in successive generations.
~Be sure to rotate your crops!!!!
~Kill them when you see them or their larva!  Die, bugs, die.   (In a home garden, this is the best method)
~Ladybugs eat them!
~They don't seem to like the garlicy soapy water...many of my larva were dead when I went out for another look.

If you check out the link above, look at the memorabilia.  It's quite entertaining!

Another good thing about that hot, hot weather over the past week.  Varroa mites don't handle the heat as well as honeybees do.  Some people paint their hives to retain heat as a pest management technique against the varroa mites.  So maybe in the long run, that oppressive heat wasn't such a bad thing.  Another heat wave in August should make for another good control...but I'll take it with a bit more rain next time.  Please.  


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