Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Organic Pest Control: Threelined Potato Beetles, Colorado Potato Beetles, and Japanese Beetles

I could never imagine spraying inorganic chemical pesticides on vegetables or herbs that I am growing in my own raised vegetable beds. This year, two beetles have started to attack my potato plants.

The more numerous of my beetles are the smaller (pictured) Threelined Potato Beetles (Lema trilineata).

They lay small yellowish eggs (pictured) on the underside of the potato leaves.
The other, larger beetle is the Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata).

These beetles lay somewhat larger, orange eggs (pictured), also on the underside of the potato leaves.

Organically controlling the beetle population is something that I have taught my children how to do, includes them in the vegetable tending process, and is an activity that they enjoy. Here's how to do it:

1. Fill a jar with soapy water.
2. Hold the jar under any beetles that you see.
3. If you bring your hand close to a beetle, it will have a natural flight response of dropping to the ground--or in this case, into your jar.
4. Once they fall into the soapy water, they lose the ability to fly and quickly sink to the bottom; in 5-10 minutes, you can rid yourself of dozens of these pests.
5. As for the eggs, check the undersides of your leaves; I find them sticky and difficult to remove, so I just tear off the leaves and stick them in the water too.

Side note: This method also works on the Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica) that attack my roses in July.

26 comments:

Sylvana said...

This is a very good idea. I have a couple of other pests that I remove manually.
The one I have a lot of trouble with though are aphids. Too many and too small for manual control. Any advice?

Steven T. said...

Aren't aphids controlled with ladybugs sold at garden centers?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I knew having a house full of children was good for something. tee hee... I haven't seen these kind of beetles in my garden. I guess I don't have anything of the potato family here. I do get those pesky japanes beetles. They aren't as numerous as they have been due to us putting down milky spores. I think that is what it was called. We did it several years ago and could definitely see a decline in the beetles.

Wicked Gardener said...

Thanks! I love simple organic pest control methods. (Love 'em more if I can get the kid to take care of it!)

~brb said...

I just discovered that something has been chewing the heck out of my tomatillos. Now I know what they are (three-lined potato beetles) and what to do about them. Thanks!

earwig infestation said...

Hi! is there an organic method to remove earwigs from my garden? I am having so much problem with earwigs because they've eaten almost half of my crops. I am supposed to harvest next month :(

Are there suggestions? I badly need help.

Pest Control Gold Coast said...

Organic pest control in the form of natural barriers like mounds, or planting many colorful ornamental plants in your garden along with the use of organic pesticides and insecticides can work wonders.

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Click Here said...

Organic pest control is cheap and effective. It is also beneficial for the plants that grow in the garden and keeps you and your family healthy as opposed to when you use chemicals.

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Marcus Wheeler said...

We use organic practices in many of our trial fields. Our main trial plot is not certified, but we honor the land-owner's wishes and treat the space as if it was. Since many of our customers are organic, certified or not, this works well for everyone. As part of our organic practices, we control pests by encouraging beneficials.


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التخلص من الحشرات فى المطابخ
المطابخ من اكثر الاماكن التى نستخدمها يوميا ونظافة المطابخ تتدل على افراد اصحاء وعائله سليمة فنظافة المطابخ والتخلص من الحشرات من اهم الاشياء التى لابد من القيام بيها وعدم الانتظار الى ان تتكاثر وتنتشر فى المطابخ من اهم انواع الحشرات التى من الممكن ان تتعرض اليها الاتى :-
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من اكثر انواع الحشرات التى يتم التعرض اليها فعليك اولا ان تتعرف على الاسباب التى تؤدى الى التعرض الى الصراصير والقضاء عليها نهائيا من اهم ما تقوم بيه الاهتمام بالتخلص من القمامه اول باول ، الاهتمام بالتخلص من بقايا الاطعمه ،التخلص من الردة ، التخلص من تسربات المياه تحت الاحواض لانها من البيئة الخصبة التى تساعد فى نمو الحشرات وتساعد فى تكاثرها وانتشارها ، الاهتمام بالبيارات ونظافتها وخاصه اذا كانت فى المطابخ هذه هى اهم الاسباب التى تؤدى الى انتشار الصراصير الصغيرة فى المطابخ فاذا كانت هناك اى مشكله واستعصى عليك الامر فتعاون معنا الان .
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النمل الاسود من الحشرات التى تنتشر فى فصل الصيف وتزداد مع ارتفاع الحرارة فاذا كنت تعانى من النمل الاسود فعليك ان تهتم بالتخلص من فتافيت الاطعمه والتخلص من السكريات المتواجده على الطاوله ، الاهتمام بازاله القمامه وبالاضافة الى الاهتمام بالتعرف على الشقوق والاماكن الضيقه التى ينبعث منها النمل الاسود حتى لا يتم انتشار النمل الاسود فى المكان وطرق الوقاية التى تساعد فى القضاء عليها هو القيام بالتخلص من القمامه وفتافيت الطعام والتخلص من الاماكن التى ينبعث منها النمل بالاضافة الى وضع السمسم فى الاماكن التى ياتى منها النمل لانها تعمل على اعاقه الجهاز التنفسى للنمل والتخلص منه ، رش زيت البترول على ارجل الطاوله حتى لا تتعرض الى النمل
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عليها .
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من الحشرات التى تاتى فى التوابل والارز السوس فعليك ان تهتم باعمال التنظيف بالاضافة الى عدم القيام بالاستعانه بانواع من التوابل القديمه او الارز القديم فهذه من اكثر
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I like the way you have explained the tips and guidelines to follow while dealing with pests, and especially the ones that affect staple foods such as potatoes. This is such a nice post, a page that i can refer to for more information. Thank you and more is expected from you.
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