What are Potato Bugs? – Potato bugs are classified into two different categories:
The Jerusalem Cricket The Colorado Potato Beetle
The Jerusalem Crickets or potato bugs ( Stenopelmatus fuscus ) are discovered in the western and southern regions of the United States. They are a group of wingless insects having large, human-like jaws, heads, and an alien-like appearance. Potato bugs are large and can be 2-3 inches in length.
How big is the potato bug?
Description – Adult beetles typically are 6–11 mm (0.24–0.43 in) in length and 3 mm (0.12 in) in width. They weigh 50-170 mg, The beetles are orange-yellow in colour with 10 characteristic black stripes on their elytra, The specific name decemlineata, meaning ‘ten-lined’, derives from this feature.
- Adult beetles may, however, be visually confused with L.
- Juncta, the false potato beetle, which is not an agricultural pest.L.
- Juncta also has alternating black and white strips on its back, but one of the white strips in the center of each wing cover is missing and replaced by a light brown strip.
- The orange-pink larvae have a large, 9-segmented abdomen, black head, and prominent spiracles, and may measure up to 15 mm (0.59 in) in length in their final instar stage.
The beetle larva has four instar stages. The head remains black throughout these stages, but the pronotum changes colour from black in first- and second-instar larvae to having an orange-brown edge in its third-instar. In fourth-instar larvae, about half the pronotum is coloured light brown.
What do potato bugs eat?
By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist Potato beetles are pests of plants in the nightshade family. Potatoes are one plant they devour, but the beetles also eat tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, Both the adults and the larvae eat the leaves of these plants. Getting rid of potato beetles is a priority for the vegetable gardener due to the range of plants the pest can infest.
Why do potato bugs come in the house?
Step 3 – Inspect your gutters on the outside of your home. If they aren’t working properly, excessive moisture will accumulate near your home, attracting potato bugs. If your gutters aren’t working properly, call a gutter company to repair them.
What is the best spray for potato bugs?
How to Control –
Plant resistant cultivars when possible.In early morning, shake adults beetles from plants onto ground cloth and dump captured pests into soapy water.To impede the movement of overwintering adults, mulch at least 2-3 inches deep with a layer of clean straw or hay as soon as plants emerge.Protect plants with Harvest-Guard row cover through spring. Beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, spined soldier bugs and lacewing, feed on eggs and the young larval stages. Beneficial nematodes will attack the immature stages developing in the soil. Diatomaceous earth contains no toxic poisons and works on contact. Dust lightly and evenly over vegetable crops wherever pest insects are found. Surround WP (kaolin clay) forms a protective barrier film, which acts as a broad spectrum crop protectant for preventing damage from chewing pests. Monterey Garden Insect Spray (Spinosad) is a highly effective bio-pesticide recommended for use against potato beetles. For best results, apply when young. Safer® BioNeem contains azadirachtin, the key insecticidal ingredient found in neem oil. This concentrated spray is approved for organic use and offers multiple modes of action, making it virtually impossible for insect resistance to develop. Best of all, it’s non-toxic to honey bees and many other beneficial insects. BotaniGard ES is a highly effective biological insecticide containing Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus that attacks a long-list of troublesome crop pests – even resistant strains! Weekly applications can prevent insect population explosions and provide protection equal to or better than conventional chemical pesticides.Spot treat with fast-acting organic pesticides if pest levels become intolerable.After harvest pick up garden debris and turn the soil over around plants to disturb overwintering beetles.
Tip: Line trenches between potato rows with plastic to trap adults. A recent study found that trenches with walls sloping at greater than 46 degrees will retain an average of 84% of all adults caught.
Will chickens eat potato bugs?
The Birds & The Bugs – Raising chickens has long been known as an excellent way to curtail the local insect population—”insect” being a colloquial catch-all term that covers noninsect arthropods such as spiders, worms and centipedes. If it creeps, crawls or flies, your birds will obligingly hunt it down and eat it.
- Chickens’ omnivorous diet, ravenous appetite and natural curiosity will keep them cheerfully foraging in their run and, if you allow it, on your lawn or in your garden.
- Free-ranging your chickens will not only keep your flock content but will also significantly diminish the number of insects on your property.
Chickens will gladly gobble up grasshoppers, hookworms, potato beetles, termites, ticks, slugs, centipedes, spiders and scorpions. They’ll happily devour the larvae of ants, moths and termites, with a distinct partiality to beetle larvae—lawn grubs and mealworms, aka darkling beetle larvae.
The latter are sold by various companies, if you’d like to buy a treat for your birds.) There are, of course, instances where you’ll find yourself upset at your birds’ propensity for inhaling all insects, such as when they chase after butterflies and fireflies, or greedily gulp down your garden’s earthworms.
Likewise, there will be times you’ll scratch your head and wonder why your flock is completely ignoring certain insects you want gone, such as box-elder bugs and multicolored Asian ladybeetles. (Both emit a noxious odor and therefore have few natural predators.) Chickens will also avoid ingesting bees—and who can blame them?—but they will chow down on hive beetles, which has encouraged many beekeepers to keep honeybee hives alongside their flocks, With these natural exterminators at work in your yard and vegetable patch, there is no need for the use of pesticides. Using chemicals can in fact be harmful or even fatal to your poultry flock and to your pets and even wild animals, too, especially if they ingest affected insects or plants that have been sprayed with these poisons.
What bird eats potato bugs?
Biological Control – Potato bugs have many natural predators. Ladybugs, parasitic wasps, stink bugs, and soldier bugs will eat the eggs and larva. Chickens, box turtles, toads, and wild birds will dine on adults and larva. Bird species that eat both the adults and larva include wrens, sparrows, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, mockingbirds, swallows, and cardinals.
How do I get rid of potato bugs?
6. Spray with a Microbial Solution – Another way that you can get rid of potato bugs is to spray your plants with a microbial solution. Bacillus thuringiensis is the most popular choice. It’s a natural bacterial disease that you can use to control potato beetles if applied to the insects while they’re still in the larval stage.