The Colorado potato beetle beater is one organic gardening insecticide that is perfect for anyone trying to rid their garden of invasive insects such as the Colorado potato beetle.
These and many more are what this info-filled article is set to provide answers to, so sit tight and enjoy your study!
What are the Facts About the Colorado Potato Beetle?
So we were searching out of our hoop house a couple of days ago eager to see how much the plants had exploded with some of the good weather we have had recently. We try to grow as much of our own food as we can in our own 26 by 36-foot hoop house.
The plants are looking good, the cucumbers are twice the size they were yesterday. But we found something rather strange on the potatoes, what is on those potatoes? We found some kind of stripey-looking humpback beetles hunkering down on the leaves, getting ready to have dinner.
We knew that a story had surfaced, and in order to find out what these bugs were and provide our readers with an info-filled description of these bugs we ran back to the house and turned on the Google machine so we could find out what these guys were.
After some couple of research, it was discovered that these bugs that were sprinkled on the potato leaves were no other than the Colorado potato beetles. This name was obviously given to them because it is clear that they really do love to eat the leaves on potato plants.
An organic site said: all you have to do is pick them off the leaves; put them in a pot of soapy water and life will be good again. Well, we were not all thrilled about the idea of having to touch the little guys, but you know, they were not as creepy as we had anticipated and were easy to get off the leaves.
We put them into this little plastic pot filled with soapy water probably so they do not get out of the pot. Godswill (our admin) who seemed like he was really waging war on these guys (lol) jokingly suggested that we put them in a coffee can with lighter fluid and torture them with a flamethrower.
We were not so keen on killing them though so we took them back to the house and released them (sort of an insect version of Catch and Release) problem solved.
The next day we went back to the hoop house expecting to see the potatoes thriving. But a ghastly sight awaited us! The plants were covered with gazillions of wriggling black and red things. It was an ugly sight to behold though.
They looked more like ladybugs and were really turning the leaves into lace. I had to quickly dash back to the Google machine where I found out that these were the pupa of those hard-shelled Colorado potato beetles.
We figured we would have to learn all we could about these guys. We got some good information from a reliable source about the life cycle of these creepy crawlers.
Turns out that the big bugs with stripes down their hardback shell were the adults, and they overwinter in the soil. In the spring as they begin to come back to life, they start eating the parts of the potato plant that are below ground and do not do that much damage to the leaves themselves.
As they crawl up the stems they do what is called stemming where they start biting through the stems causing the plants to sort of fall over if they get a little bit too ambitious.
Female Colorado Potato beetles lay orange and yellow eggs in a batch of about two dozen or so on the backside of those leaves. 350 to 500 eggs are what they can produce over a four to five-week period.
And it only takes about four to nine days before those larvae come out and start munching on those potato leaves.
This larval stage lasts two to three weeks feeding ambitiously in groups.
After feeding they go back into the ground to pupate again, and then it takes another five to ten days before the adults emerge. Then they go into that egg-laying cycle again which can take them around 21 days to start doing.
So if you begin to notice these insects coming on in your garden, by the end of the summer, you could have two and maybe sometimes three of those cycles of those beetles coming on at the same time.
In fact, at a certain point, you are going to have all those different stages munching on your leaves together. One of the reasons most commercial growers grow so many potatoes is that we know in order to get rid of things like the Colorado potato beetle some commercial growers throw a hell of a lot of chemicals at their potatoes, and no one would want chemicals in their food.
Below are the kinds of things that commercial growers use on them:
- Insect growth regulators
- Colorado Potato Beetle Beaters
The one thing we learned is that these beetles really pretty quickly become resistant to all of these kinds of chemicals that the commercial growers try to throw at them.
What Are the Biological Ways to Control the Colorado Potato Beetles?
1. Use Neem Oil
So we were looking for some more cultural or biological ways to control these bugs and discovered that we can use neem oil. Neem oil is an organic or natural type spray that doesn’t really kill the beetle, but it makes them less likely to want to chew on the leaves.
2. Make Use of BT
Another chemical that is natural and can be used to safely control this insect is the BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis). This product is available as a spray and is not terribly effective on adults.
3. Introduce Biological Predators Into Your Garden
Another way of biologically controlling these pests is by getting naturally opposing biological predators (green lacewings, ladybugs, stink bugs, spiders, etc) into your garden.
Even some kinds of flies could be useful; this method is not all that effective though and obviously would not be an immediate quick fix when these little guys are already munching down on your leaves.
4. Crop Rotation
Crop rotation can also help. You are going to want to make sure that you do not plant potato after potato.
When you do crop rotation, you must be 200 yards away from where they were grown before in order to keep them (colorado potato beetle) from coming back into my garden.
5. Wait For The Adults To Emerge
You can plant a quick-growing variety of potatoes after the adult colorado beetles have emerged. So you wait in the spring until after those big guys have come and gone and you start to get the population under control, and then you plant your potatoes.
6. Remove Alternative Food Sources From Your Garden or its Surrounding Areas
We also recommend that you remove the kind of things that alternate as food sources for these little guys.
Nightshades and ground cherries should be removed if found growing near your garden as they could serve as an alternative food source for these insects.
What Is a Bonide Colorado Potato Beetle Beater?
Colorado Potato Beetle Beater is an insecticide from Bonide that controls the tough Colorado potato beetle larvae using spinosad, which is derived from naturally occurring chemicals. One pint of concentrate will be included in this bottle.
Any gardener looking to get rid of pesky insects without harming their plants will appreciate the effectiveness of this natural pesticide for outdoor use.
This natural insect repellent is made with Spinosad. Apply the product exactly as instructed on the label for the best benefit.
Colorado potato beetle beater bonide is useful for a number of things:
- Citrus trees
- Crops that are grown in the Cole family
- Fruiting veggies
- Leafy and dried herbs
Read more: Flour Beetles: Facts and How to Get Rid
What are the Benefits of the Colorado Potato Beetle Beater?
- For organic gardening: With this bug killer, you won’t have to worry about damaging your garden’s vegetables or flowers because it is safe to use in organic farming.
- Contains Spinosad: Spinosad is created by a soil bacterium that can be harmful to insects, thus which makes it perfect to apply to crops and gardens.
- Controls Beetles and Larvae: This pesticide product naturally controls the difficult CO Potato Beetle Larvae, as well as selected leaf beetle larvae and adults.
- Controls a Variety of Other Insects: This liquid is effective against fire ants, worms, caterpillars, certain types of moths, thrips, and other insects in addition to targeting beetles.
- It Is Economical: This concentration requires mixing before application. Up to 8 gallons of treatment spray can be made from a single bottle. To get the greatest results, be sure to follow the application instructions on the label completely.
How Do I Apply the Bonide Colorado Potato Beetle Beater?
- Add the recommended quantity of bonide colorado potato beetle beater to the water required for the mixture.
- Apply the product uniformly to the top and lower leaves of plants after fully combining it with the necessary volume of water.
- For economical use, it is recommended to use only the required amount of spray.
- Do not exceed three gallons of spray per one thousand square feet of space.
- Keep measuring instruments away from children.
So what other facts about the colorado potato beetle beater do you think we have not mentioned? do feel free to drop them below in the comment section.
For more information, questions or queries do feel allowed to contact us.