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. It reached the East Coast by 1874. Adult beetles overwinter in potato fields, field margins, windbreaks, and gardens. They become active about the same time the potatoes emerge in the spring. They mate and the female lays eggs in clusters of 10 to 30 on the underside of the leaf (Image 2).
Eggs hatch within 2 weeks, the larvae (Image 3) move 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 can 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 ferti•lome® “Green” Label Spinosad and Hi-Yield® Garden & Farm Insect Control.
The absolute BEST product for Colorado Potato Beetles is ferti•lome® “Green” Label Spinosad or ferti•lome® “Green” Label Spinosad Soap. Both contain Spinosad which is a natural product that happens to be very effective on Colorado Potato Beetle. ferti•lome® “Green” Label Spinosad Soap has the added benefit of insecticidal soap so you don’t need Hi-Yield® Spreader Sticker, plus it will knock the beetles off the plant in minutes to die on the ground. When using ferti•lome® “Green” Label Spinosad , increase your effectiveness by adding Hi-Yield® Spreader Sticker to the mix and try to direct some of the spray on the under side of the leaves.
ferti•lome® “Green” Label Triple Action and ferti•lome® “Green” Label 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. This 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.