The invasion of the Colorado potato beetle on planting potatoes is a serious problem for every summer resident, because getting rid of the pest is quite difficult. Today we will consider best insect control methods to save crops in time.
First of all, it is important to start fighting the pest in time, so that the potato beds show at the end of the season the result we are counting on.
What is a Colorado potato beetle?
This is one of the most serious pests in the garden that can thoroughly ruin a potato crop. The result is very much affected - soil, temperature stability, timely care and other factors, but if you make a negative contribution and pest, you can generally be left without a crop. We cannot allow this, and therefore we will try to study our enemy as carefully as possible in order to find the most effective way to deal with him.
The pest is a small beetle, with an average size of 1 cm. You can determine it by a rounded body and striped coloring, but by the way, everyone already understands what an insect looks like.
In our environment, the pest can calmly survive the winter period if it leaves the soil in the condition of an adult insect. In other phases of development in the winter, he dies. But the adult generation is enough for mass reproduction from the very spring, when in warm time, during the first spring rains, the insect leaves the soil and begins its vital activity.
A certain part of individuals during the summer can leave the soil for short periods 5-7 times more. Thus, there is a certain rotation of insects, some of which feed, and others - hide from poisons. Therefore, it is unrealistic to save potato beds from a Colorado potato beetle with one or two pickles, and this is a proven fact many times.
Moreover, it is worth paying attention to that the female produces about 500-600 eggs for laying alone, which grow to a full-fledged pest on average per month. Thus, the number of individuals from spring to mid or late summer may increase by 150-200 times.
An interesting fact is that the pest is somehow connected with the plant on which it parasitizes. It begins its activity during the period of flowering and budding, when the greens are very sensitive to a variety of damage. Colorado beetles are very active, and can destroy an entire potato bed in just a week. Statistics show that the destruction of 30-40% of tops in the garden leads to a decrease in yield by 20-30%. If up to 80% of the tops are damaged, then the losses can amount to half the crop from this site.
As you can see, the “efforts” of the Colorado potato beetle cause serious damage to our garden, and therefore you should not spare the insect or ignore it in the garden, you must fight the pest in every possible way.
How to get rid of a pest: recommendation of a specialist
It all starts with planting lures - sprouted potato tubers in early spring, as soon as the soil ripens. It is also necessary to lay out the vegetable cutting area and just wait for the insects to come to feast on them. After a few days, you can begin to collect the bug and destroy it.
Further, it is necessary to sprinkle the potato seedlings in the garden, but this is with standard planting and does not apply to bait tubers. Thus, for some time, before growth of 5-10 cm, you protect seedlings, and also significantly reduce the number of larvae that could produce thousands of individuals.
One of the best ways to deal with a pest is manual destruction. Of course, he is a little disgusting, but not as scary as it seems at first glance. So, from potato tops it is necessary to collect a beetle, larvae and egg laying, take them out of the garden and destroy them. You can do this every day, and if you combine it with other methods of struggle, you can achieve a really good enough result.
Do not rely heavily on the few enemies of the pest, which are considered some spiders, ground beetles, predatory bugs. They destroy the insect, but not in the quantity in which we would like. Moreover, using chemistry to etch the beds, we also kill these insects. If we talk about the special form of insects (as in the case of spider mites), then scientists have not yet succeeded and created an active insect that would effectively fight the Colorado scourge.
To get rid of the problem, it can be prevented by choosing the right variety of potatoes, which seriously aggravates the insect's sensitivity to chemicals. Thus, the Colorado potato beetle will not completely disappear from the garden, but only 1-2 treatments with special tools will be enough to destroy it, and not 3-5, as usual. To do this, you can choose the following varieties of root crops - Temp, Spark, Zarevo and others.
If you decide to use serious chemicals to destroy the pest in the garden, be sure to use the instructions, personal protective equipment, and also begin processing only in case of a mass attack of the beetle.
It is advisable in combination with chemicals and manual extermination of insects to use infusions of insecticidal plants, which are used for periodic processing. Such an integrated approach and ongoing prevention will help in the effective fight against uninvited guests.
Chemicals for Colorado potato beetle
If the struggle with manual collection does not help, and the insecticidal plants do not cope with the pest, you can proceed to the use of chemicals.
At the moment, the following drugs are considered the most popular on the market: Decis, Actelik, Arrivo, Karate, Inta-VIR, Kinmix, Sonnet, Sherpa, Tsimbush, Sumitsidin, Sumi-Alpha, Akarin, Bitoksibatsillin, Colorado, Novodor, Fitoverm, Dursban, Zolon, Leptocide, Marshal, Regent, Rovikurt.
How to use chemicals
First of all, when processing potatoes from a pest, you should understand that any chemical preparation is toxic and can have a detrimental effect not only on insects, but also on humans. Therefore, you should adhere not only to the instructions for use, but also to some other requirements:
- Young people under 18 years old, pregnant or lactating women should not be allowed to work with chemicals. It is strictly forbidden to use drinks or food, as well as smoking during the treatment of plants with chemistry;
- It is not recommended to treat with a broom, watering can or other inappropriate means for this;
- Processing plants should take place in calm weather, preferably in the early morning or evening, using special sprayers for the garden;
- After working with pesticides, you should take off your equipment, bleed air from the sprayer, rinse its external parts with running water, take off your clothing and wash your hands and face well with soap and water. After, take a shower;
- Upon completion of plant treatment, it is advisable not to carry out any work on the beds a day or two. The plants that are weakened after this are destroyed, and in no case should they be fed livestock and poultry;
- If there is an apiary in the country house, then it must be taken out 4-5 kilometers from this zone for 5-6 days, or isolated from the entry of hive pesticides;
- Processing is carried out 20-30 days before harvesting, or strictly according to the instructions of the drug.
Folk ways of struggle
In addition to the methods of influencing these insects described above, there are also a number of recipes that people came to on their own, systematically destroying beetles on the beds of potatoes.
Birch Wood Ash
It is believed that birch wood ash helps to get rid of potato pests. It is necessary to use it for pollination of adult bushes, but in large quantities, about 10 kg per hundred. In this case, not only the pest larvae die, but also adults. You can also abundantly sprinkle ash on the soil under potato plantings, then the pests that hide in the ground will also die.
Laundry soap with pest ash
This product is called a “spray”, perhaps because potato bushes are sprayed with infusion. The preparation is prepared as follows - a bar of laundry soap is crushed into a bucket of water, and mixed until maximum dissolution. Two liter cans of wood ash are also added there. Now the solution is infused for 15 minutes and immediately used in the garden. Just a liter of it is stirred in a bucket of clean water and sprayed. They say that literally 2 sprays with a break of a week can completely drive the Colorado potato beetle off.
Calendula versus Colorado potato beetles
Incredibly, even ordinary country flowers can protect potatoes from the pest. Experienced summer residents say that calendula scares off the beetle, which means that there will be no adult individuals, larvae and eggs on the potato. It is only necessary to plant this plant around the allotment (at about the same time as planting potatoes), and plant calendula randomly inside the garden itself, and then the effect will be simply amazing.
Wormwood in the fight against pests
There is plenty of fresh wormwood around our summer cottages, and therefore there will definitely not be problems with collecting the plant for the preparation of the next remedy. Cut a few bushes of fresh wormwood, cut it and fill it in a standard bucket so that greens fill it by a third. Pour boiling water into the bucket, mix thoroughly, cover and leave for several days. At the end of the tincture period, it should be filtered and used to spray the garden.
In addition to these recipes, there are still a huge number of interesting, and sometimes original methods, each of which can be used on potato beds. But, to our great regret, we simply cannot vouch for their effectiveness. This is spraying fresh dry cement through cheesecloth, and spraying boiling water with infusion on red hot pepper and laundry soap, and tinctures on a wide variety of plants.
The destruction of the Colorado potato beetle in the garden (video)
DachaDecor.ru recalls that the fight against the Colorado potato beetle must be complex, and only then is a better result possible. Choose the most effective way yourself, for example, manual collection and destruction of adult individuals and larvae, planting calendula in beds and spraying ash in the garden, and get a high-quality result. And if you already have a similar method in service, you can share it with us in the comments, we will be very grateful!