Question yesterday I have something eating my potato leaves. Large beetle bigger than a lady bug? Hope this helps. Becky
How to Control the Potato Beetle
If you walk outside, look at your garden and find large holes in potato leaves or the leaves are stripped off leaving only the veins, you most probably have Colorado potato beetles. These pests are the most common culprit in potato infestations. To add insult to injury, both the adult and larvae stages eat potato leaves. Potato plants will survive after losing about 30 percent of their leaves. Identify the beetles in any life stage to make certain of your pest problem and then eradicate them.
1 Examine the tops of potato leaves for signs of the Colorado potato beetle. Adults are yellowish and about 3/8 inch long with orange heads and 10 black stripes on their backs from head to tail. Larvae are about 1/2 inch long and appear like a red slug. They have black spots in two rows on each side of the body. Larvae heads and legs are black.
2 Lift up leaves to look underneath them to identify Colorado potato beetle eggs. The eggs are orange-yellow and appear in clusters on the underneath.
3 Look closely at potato leaves with large holes in them and young potato shoots that are stripped of all their leaves as they emerge from the ground for both adults and larvae.
Potato Beetle Control
1 Pick adult and larvae stages of the Colorado potato beetle off each plant by hand. Place them in a Mason jar and close the lid so it is airtight. Dispose of the jar in the garbage.
2 Cut all leaves with damage off with garden hand shears. Place the leaves in a bucket. Cut all potato leaves with eggs underneath them and place them in a bucket. Secure the bucket with an airtight lid. Leave the bucket in a sunny location for about three weeks to kill the eggs.
3 Measure and pour pyrethrin concentrated insecticide into a garden sprayer. Follow the specific directions on your package as the amount varies from one brand to another. Most directions include making a gallon of insecticide. If you want to convert this to a smaller amount, divide by four to make a quart.
4 Turn a garden hose on and fill the sprayer with water while swirling the sprayer to mix the contents. Fill the water level up to the line on the sprayer for the amount you are making.
5 Place the lid on the garden sprayer and turn it clockwise to lock it. Pull the handle on top up and down to pressurize the contents.
6 Spray each potato plant on the underside and topside of each leaf. Examine your potatoes weekly for additional pests. Repeat the spraying process if you see more evidence of potato beetles on your crop.
Potato Beetle Prevention
1 Remove dead leaves and debris from under plants to discourage pests.
2 Turn the soil in spring with a rototiller before planting to a depth of 6 inches. This process will dig up any beetle pupae that have overwintered in the ground. Pick the pinkish-yellow pupae out of the soil and dispose of them before planting your spring potatoes.
3 Rotate potato crops to a new area each season to avoid potato beetles in the ground from a previous crop.
4 Spray potato plants and the ground surrounding them with insecticide as soon as the leaves emerge. Examine plants weekly and apply insecticide at the first sign of Colorado potato beetles in any life stage.
5 Plant companions of flax, green beans or eggplant to control beetles.
Things You Will Need
◾Garden hand shears
◾Bucket with lid
◾Pyrethrin concentrated insecticide
◾Choose a sunny, warm day to apply insecticides, as they work best under these conditions. Rain and heavy dew washes insecticides off plant leaves. Reapply insecticides if an unexpected rain occurs within a few days of application.
◾If you are squeamish about touching bugs, you can use the insecticide without handpicking bugs.
taken from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/control-potato-beetle-29012.html
till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org