The Colorado potato beetle is akin to a natural disaster. So, say farmers, villagers and summer residents of regions, whose fields and gardens are infected with this insect. It is extremely difficult to deal with it even with pesticides due to its high resistance to poisons. In addition, the beetle already in the next generation develops strong immunity to most chemicals.
Solanaceous crops suffer - potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, to a lesser extent peppers, the yield of which can be halved from the invasion of insects. What to do? We will tell you how to deal with the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes in this article.
What is the Colorado potato beetle
It is believed that the homeland of this harmful insect is northeastern Mexico, from where it moved to the United States in the 19th century, and in the middle of the 20th century, after several unsuccessful attempts, it established itself in Europe. On the territory of the former Soviet Union, the Colorado potato beetle appeared first in Ukraine, then in the Kaliningrad region and the Baltic states. It was from there that he began his march across the country and since the beginning of 2000 he has even met in Primorye.
The Colorado potato beetle is a rather cute insect, of medium size, about 1 cm long, with an orange head and belly. Its elytra are convex, creamy white, with black stripes. Beetle larvae are bright orange in color. During the season, one female lays an average of 500-700 eggs.
Beetles hibernate, burrowing into the ground to a depth of 20 to 50 cm. Their lifespan is 1 year, although some individuals live up to 3 years. pests are able to enter diapause for up to 3 years, which helps to survive the hungry years (for example, when a crop is grown in the field that is unsuitable for food). This makes it very, very difficult to fight the beetles.
Colorades, when eating nightshade tops, accumulate the alkaloid solanine, which is toxic to most animals and birds. Because of this, they have few natural enemies that are unable to contain the beetle population.
Methods of dealing with the Colorado potato beetle
Potatoes are the crop that suffers the most from the Colorado potato beetle. In large fields, it is fought with systemic insecticides, which give a good effect for several years, since insects get used to them more slowly than to other poisons. But the residual doses of the drugs along with the vegetables also end up on our table. True, now genetically modified potato varieties have been bred, the Colorado potato beetle does not eat them, but who knows what is safer for us to eat - GMOs or poisons?
How to poison the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes is a burning question for any summer resident who wants to feed his family with safe, environmentally friendly products. Unfortunately, modern science has not yet invented a universal remedy for this pest. But you can and should fight it.
We will tell you how to get rid of the Colorado potato beetle, give several recipes for folk remedies for its destruction on potatoes, consider chemicals designed to combat the pest.
Preplant potato processing
I really don't want to mess with the Colorado potato beetle in the summer. How to process potatoes even before planting so that pests do not appear on it? There is a triple action drug Matador Grand, which protects the plant from many diseases and pests. Potato tubers should be sprayed as directed in the instructions just before planting. But keep in mind that the product is toxic, its validity period is 60-70 days and is unsuitable for processing early potatoes. A mixture of Maxim and Prestige, preparations with the same decay period, helps to cope well with the Colorado potato beetle.
For the treatment of early potato tubers, you can use the Cruiser or Tabu - products that last about 45 days.
Often we are advised to observe crop rotation - for five years not to plant nightshades, including potatoes, in the old place, then, they say, everything will be fine. Indeed, in order for us to get rid of the Colorado potato beetle in a natural way, it must take 4-5 years, because it is capable of falling into diapause (a kind of suspended animation). But…
What to change with what? Potatoes with tomatoes or sweet peppers? On 6 or even 20 acres, it is simply unrealistic to protect yourself from beetles by crop rotation. We will plant potatoes 10 meters from the previous place. Think the Colorado potato beetle won't find it? He can fly. In general, do not plant potatoes or tomatoes for 5 years?
Fighting the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes by planting garlic, wormwood, celandine, marigolds, nasturtium or other plants, the smell of which the insect does not like, does not give the desired effect. A couple of beetles will fly over the "odorous" barrier, and that's it. If someone wants to try joint planting, that is, alternating, for example, tobacco and potatoes - try it. You will lose both time and nerves.
It is difficult to prevent the appearance of Colorado potato beetles in a potato field. In addition to crop rotation, which all sources strongly recommend to us, although it is almost impossible to provide it on 6 acres, we recommend:
- spud potatoes as high as possible;
- a good remedy is straw mulch, it is believed that beetles cannot stand its smell;
- loosen the aisles of the potatoes regularly;
- after harvest, carefully remove plant residues.
In the regions where the beetle has been destroying the potato crop for more than half a century, many ways have accumulated to combat it. They are quite effective, you can choose several at your discretion, alternate during the season and grow a good harvest without any chemistry.
Collecting beetles by hand
The best, but very troublesome remedy for the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes is collecting adults and larvae by hand. Pour kerosene or a little saturated saline solution into the bottom of the bucket (there should be enough salt so that it stops dissolving in water), collect the bugs and throw them into the liquid. Bright orange larvae are always located on the underside of a potato leaf, pluck it and throw it into a bucket. Make sure that the bugs do not get out of the container.
Ash on guard of the harvest
Ash treatment of potatoes from the Colorado potato beetle is an excellent tool. But you need a lot of ash. For those gardeners who do not heat with wood in winter, this method of struggle can be a problem.
- Early in the morning, in the dew, after watering or rain, sprinkle abundantly sifted ash on the soil and potato tops, spending 10 kg of ash per one hundred square meters. This should be done before flowering - twice a month, after - monthly.
- Prepare 10 liters of a solution from a grated bar of laundry soap, 2 liters of sifted ash and water. In dry, calm weather, process the potato planting.
Spraying with infusions
Herbal infusions and decoctions can be successfully used from the Colorado potato beetle on potatoes. It is important to consider the following:
- The pest quickly adapts to poisons, the infusions need to be alternated.
- Allelopathic plants are used for spraying. They not only restrain the invasion of beetles, but also inhibit the growth of potatoes. So the harvest will be environmentally friendly, but it will be 10-14 days late. And this will hurt the pocket of people who grow early potatoes for sale.
- Treatment with infusions will not destroy all pests, but will only reduce their number and contain the spread.
- If there are a lot of beetles, herbal remedies will not give results, you will have to use chemicals.
Advice! If you are going to use infusions to process potatoes, do not wait for the pests to spread. Start with preventive sprays.
We bring to your attention the following recipes for decoctions and infusions:
- Fill a bucket with celandine herb, cover with water, boil for 15 minutes. Strain, to process potatoes, add 0.5 liters of the resulting broth to a bucket of water.
- Pour 300 g of onion husks with a bucket of hot water, leave for 24 hours.
- Pour a kilogram of green walnut leaves, or even better 0.5 kg of chopped green fruits, with boiling water, leave for a week.
- Pour 300 g of chopped wormwood with a bucket of boiling water, leave until it cools completely.
- Boil 100 g of red hot pepper for 1.5-2 hours in 10 liters of water.
- Pour 1 kg of green leaves and stepchildren of tomatoes overnight with warm water, putting a load on top.
- Dissolve 100 g of tar in 10 liters of water.
- Cut 200 g of garlic (heads and / or tops with arrows), leave in a bucket of water for 1 day.
- Insist 200 g of tobacco dust in 10 liters of water for 3 days.
Spraying potatoes is best done in the evening in calm weather on dry leaves, adding 2-3 tablespoons of liquid soap to the solution for better adhesion. Remember that it makes no sense to prepare vegetable infusions for future use, since they cannot be stored, they deteriorate after a short time.
We offer you to watch a video about the destruction of Colorado beetles:
Not every gardener will be able to collect beetles on potatoes by hand, but preparing and using herbal infusions is troublesome. Not everyone has time to prepare them, especially city dwellers who come to the dacha from time to time. It happens that the potatoes were planted, and the appearance of the beetles was missed, they did not have time to look back, but they are already eating the tops. It remains only to poison with chemicals so as not to lose the crop. According to the method of exposure, they are divided as follows:
- systemic drugs;
- contact drugs;
- biological preparations.
They require special care. The most effective, do not wash off with water, have the longest effect, do not cause addiction in beetles. To destroy them, 2-3 sprays with a systemic drug are enough. But potatoes treated with systemic poisons accumulate toxic substances that are dangerous to humans. The time of their disintegration is necessarily indicated on the package. Early potatoes are not treated with systemic preparations.
Corado, Confidor, Spark Zolotaya, Warrant, Colorado, Commander, Image, Imidor, Zenith, Monsoon, Zhukomor, Tanrek, Masterpiece, Prestige, etc.
True to the name. They are not absorbed into the plant, and therefore do not accumulate in it. Contact drugs act on beetles by direct contact. Easily rinsed with water and addictive. Therefore, it is impossible to process potatoes with only one preparation, it is better to alternate them. The time limits for potatoes to be eaten after spraying should be indicated on the package.
Aktara, Doctor, Decis, Match, etc.
Are the safest. Created on the basis of spore bacteria, which cause disorders of the digestive system in beetles, which makes them sick and die. Potatoes need to be processed at least 3 times with an interval of 7 days. Biological agents do not accumulate in tubers and can be eaten after 5 days.
Agrovertin, Bitoxibacillin, Bicol, Fitoverm, Dendrobacillin, Batsikol, etc.
Important! Whichever product you use, be sure to wear a respirator and rubber gloves before spraying the potatoes with the Colorado potato beetle.
Unfortunately, there is no universal remedy. The only consolation is that science does not stand still, new products appear on the market every year. There is a hope that the joint efforts of domestic and foreign scientists will lead to the appearance on the market of a drug that is safe for people, which in one treatment will save us from the annoying beetle.
Tatyana, 50 years old, Krasnodar region
I prefer to fight beetles on potatoes with folk remedies, I do not use chemicals. I use ash - both fertilizer and protection are good. Recently I read that ants scare off the Colorado potato beetle from potatoes. So I even ran to the garden to look. Either my ants are wrong, or beetles, or they haven’t read this article, they don’t know that they cannot get closer to each other than 10 meters, they live nearby.
Ivan Sergeevich, farmer, Rostov region
I have two hectares under the potatoes. It seems not so much, but with the Colorado potato beetle you have to fight with chemistry. I didn’t work before, there was a bug, but not much. But three years ago, it is not clear where he came from, he ate half of the crop - continuous losses. I figured out the better to process potatoes, listened to the reviews. Now I use Prestige for processing tubers. Someone will say expensive. But it protects potatoes not only from the Colorado potato beetle, but also from the wireworm, and from other pests, besides, you do not need to tinker with spraying in the summer.