Colorado Potato Beetles



The Colorado potato beetle is about a half inch long, has black and yellow stripes on its back, and an orange pronotum (neck-like part) carrying black dots.


The larvae are dark red or light orange, about a half inch long, and resemble a fat slug with two rows of black dots on each of its sides.


The eggs are light yellow and oval shaped laid in clusters on the underside of leaves.

Plants affected:

• potatoes

• tomatoes

• eggplant

• peppers


Hand picking the eggs, larvae, and mature beetle is the best way to treat affected plants. The Colorado potato beetle has developed resistance to many chemical pesticides, and for organic gardens a chemical treatment is not adviseable.

Crop rotation is beneficial because the Colorado potato beetles burrow into the soil near the base of the plants for the winter. They emerge in May to lay eggs and begin their cycle.

Potato plants can be covered with a light fabric to keep new bettles from landing on them. Potatoes do not need to be pollinated, so the fabric can be left in place during the whole growing season. Tomatoes. eggplants, and peppers need to be pollinated and should not be covered.

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