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potato bugs, help
 Moderated by: WildBill, TasunkaWitko
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 Posted: Sat Feb 20th, 2016 08:57 PM
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sanford
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Don't know if this belongs here but I figured someone on here would be able to help, the past two years the potato bugs have eaten the plants down to the ground before they could even flower, I have used sevin dust and spray, insect soap, even hand picked them off the plants, rotated to the other end of the garden, if anyone has any suggestions be grateful. I also make sure the ground is turned in late fall so cold might freeze them out. Thanks



 Posted: Sat Feb 20th, 2016 09:26 PM
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swampratt
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You may be talking of the potato beetle.
Not the cricket like bug.
The beetles will lay the eggs on the under sides of the leaves.. tiny orange ones..crush those eggs.

Keep all leaf and other debris out of the garden.

The adult bugs will move at night to the p[lants..maybe a few well placed boards with petroleum jelly smeared onto it will trap them.

maybe some sticky traps..

If the eggs are on the plants they will hatch and start feeding i would think that would make the sticky trap not very effective unless they went down into the ground to stay during the day.

I like ants in my garden.. every time i have ants my plants do very well.
But large infestations of squash bugs were too much for the ants.
Could be they were not tasty to them,, as may be the case for your pest



 Posted: Sat Feb 20th, 2016 11:33 PM
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Rockydog



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Charley should be along shortly with the definitive solution...He is truly our resident expert on all things with more than 4 legs except perhaps octopus's.



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Light hunting rifles; Gravity is permanent, recoil is temporary.Your Choice


 Posted: Sun Feb 21st, 2016 01:06 AM
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Charley



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Not an Ag guy, but...

Swampratt is right, potato beetle. If the plants are eaten down to the ground, starting with the foliage, beetle larva are the culprit. Potato beetles are resistant to a whole bunch of pesticides, and results with them might range from poor to absolutely nothing happening.

There do seem to be some alternate control methods. Among them:
Regular inspection, as was mentioned. If you find the egg masses, scrape them off. Going to have to be a physical thing, there isn't much that can penetrate the egg mass and kill them.
Larvacides, are your best bet. First instar (just hatched, and before the first molt), and second instar stages are probably the easiest to kill. Very small, so smaller dosages are required to be effective. You might consider a comnbination of products. I'd alternate using BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) and Neem Oil on the plants. BT is a bacteria and Neem Oil is a plant derivative that is toxic to many insects.
The Sevin (Carbaryl) you are using has little effect on the potato beetle, the vast, vast majority of them are resistant to it.
Some sources suggest mulching the area where you grow potatos in the off season about 4 inches deep. The last instar of the larva burrow into the ground, and pupate, emerging in the spring as adults. The thick mulch layer helps inhibit this.
Some other sources also recommend beneficial nematodes, which move through the soil and feed on most every living creature available. I don't know hw effective they are on Potato Beetle larva and pupa, but they do a great job in flea control, by attacking the larva and pup.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 21st, 2016 03:39 AM
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MacBeth
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Nematodes work great on soil bound bugs or bugs that have one phase of their life cycle in the ground as Charley said.

I regularly apply them each spring in the back yard and garden area.



 Posted: Sun Feb 21st, 2016 01:38 PM
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sanford
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Thanks, will give it a try



 Posted: Sun Feb 21st, 2016 02:53 PM
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Charley



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Remember, though, nematodes only deal with the part of the life cycle when the pupa are in the soil. Won't help against above ground activity. I'd suggest a combination of at least nematodes and BT.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 21st, 2016 04:14 PM
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Rockydog



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Depending on how one feels about Genetically Modified Crops a solution to this problem may be on the horizon. Plants can now be modified to produce BT toxins internally. The risks however may outweigh the benefits. In BT corn producers did not follow published guidelines that called for planting portions of fields with regular corn to sacrifice to some of the bugs. These bugs would reproduce the next generations of bugs in the field. Because farmers did not leave sacrificial corn the only bugs that reproduced in the field were bugs that survived the BT strain. Within about 3 generations we now have bugs that are resistant to BT. The same thing could happen with potatoes. At any rate here's a link. RD

http://cropwatch.unl.edu/potato/btpotato



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Light hunting rifles; Gravity is permanent, recoil is temporary.Your Choice


 Posted: Sun Feb 21st, 2016 07:19 PM
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Charley



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Life finds a way. That is one of the reasons I suggest a multi tool approach toward dealing with critters. By using alternate materials, you drop the chances of the development of resistance in a population pretty drastically.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 22nd, 2016 03:01 PM
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RGB Sierra
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I'm just happy it's the beetle and not th potatoe bug! Potatoe bugs are nasty looking and look like aliens from another planet. And they crunch when you step on them. Aaaaaaaaargh.



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