Important facts about potato beetles

Abell Pest Control

Gardeners and farmers across the U.S. probably come across an unfamiliar beetle in their crops from time to time. While some might not give a beetle a second glance, these people know that one bug can spell disaster for their plants. In some cases, beetles can damage plants to the point that the plant can no longer flower and sustain a long life. To those who either enjoy gardening or depend upon it for their livelihood, this is a serious issue. Many of these beetles are part of the Leptinotarsa genus, commonly known as potato beetles. In fact, the University of Florida reported that there are roughly 40 different species of potato beetle across North America.

Here's what you need to know about potato beetles:

Threelined potato beetles
One common species is known as the threelined potato beetle. The University of Minnesota reported that it has cream and black stripes on its back, making it very distinguishable. It usually appears in the spring and summer and likes to eat potato and tomatillo plants. It's best not to use a pesticide in this case unless the problem is too extensive. It's best to pick them by hand and remove them into a bucket of soapy water.

Colorado potato beetle
One of the more ubiquitous potato beetles in North America is the Colorado potato beetle. It has a much wider diet than other varieties, eating off eggplants, potatoes, bell peppers and others. You can identify this beetle by its orange, black spotted head and white and black striped body. The University of Florida reported that chemical control is a good way to remove a large infestation. Homeowners may want a professional pest control company to spray for the insect.

Giant sweetpotato bug
According to the University of Florida, this Asian species of beetle was introduced to America some time in the late 1980s or early 1990s. As their name suggests, these bugs like to hang around sweetpotato plants. However, no major damage has ever been reported as being caused by this species. The only nuisance they may cause is their unsightliness. The bug is large, black and gray and has long antennae bent at a nearly 90 degree angle. They are best managed when still in the nymphal stage and more susceptible to chemicals.

About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

Related Articles

Check Us Out

Our Credentials