One Potato, Two Potato

When I dug up a potato plant in my garden, I was hoping to find:

One potato, two potato

Three potato, four….

But it seems that something found the potatoes before I did. My not-so-good old friends, the ten-lined beetles, mainly in their larval stage.

Here are my Pontiac potatoes, half eaten by the ten-lined beetle larvae. I could have cried!

006

Ten-lined-June-Beetle

Near each eaten potato, I found the larvae of these beetles.

 

 

Ten-Line-June-Beetle

Don’t they all look like they’ve eaten too many potatoes?

Beetle larvae

I’ve had to do a lot of extermination as I dug potatoes. My foot was the quickest way to deal with them. Where is a robin when you need one?

012

So far, the only way I can think of to get rid of these potato eaters is to put all my garden through a soil screen, and watch for the smaller larvae that might fall through the mesh. I’m very frustrated. What to do?

40 thoughts on “One Potato, Two Potato

  1. Wow, sorry about this! I suppose you have to use some nasty pesticide but who wants to do that? Yuck. Is there something you can mix into the soil when planting that will repel the little varmints without being toxic?

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I don’t want to put any pesticides in the soil. But I thought that before I plant anything next year I’ll use a topsoil screen and shovel a lot of the soil through it and pick out the thousands of beetle larvae. They’re a good size, so most don’t go through the half inch mesh. They’re about the size of big shrimps or small prawns. Horrible disgusting things.

      Like

  2. I don’t have a clue what the solution is — if it were me, and it were happening here, the first thing I’d do is contact our Ag Extension Office. Do you have such a thing?

    In lieu of that, I found that your beetle also is known as the Colorado potato beetle, and the Wiki said this: “A ground beetle, Lebia grandis, is a predator of the eggs and larvae, and its larvae are parasitoids of the Colorado beetle’s pupae. Beauveria bassiana (Hyphomycetes) is a pathogenic fungus that infects a wide range of insect species, including the Colorado potato beetle. It is probably the most widely used natural enemy of the Colorado potato beetle, with readily available commercial formulations that can be applied using a regular pesticide sprayer.”

    Regular pesticides apparently don’t do a thing to it — going the natural way is best, and that sprayable pathogenic fungus seems like a good bet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I checked out the Colorado potato beetle after reading your comment and it looks very similar to the beetle we have here except that the Colorado beetle is less than half an inch long and my horrible beetles are more than an inch long.I remember picking those potato beetles off our plants when I was really young (five or six) and my mom showed me what they look like – a bit like a ladybug except that these had stripes instead of spots, She also showed me how they lay eggs in clusters underneath the leaf of the potato plant. The bugs we have here are more like a striped June bug. But thanks for the input. I had forgotten about those little critters!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I certainly know absolutely nothing about gardening and have been impressed by your ventures. I had no idea how you kept bugs away thus far. One time I had a mini rose plant in my house in Florida, and somehow these tiny little insects ate it up. As you can tell, NO green thumb here. I can’t imagine doing a big thing out in a garden like potatoes. I know you’re disappointed though. I don’t blame you. Looks like you had a lot of those. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband grew up in Czechoslovakia. The schoolkids had to go and collect those beetles from the leaves of the potatoplants. They called them american beetles. The propaganda was that the Americans brought them over, so the people had to go hungry – LOL. I guess you have to hire some kids next year ….

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are different from the ones we had. They’re bigger and they don’t lay eggs on the potato leaves like the little potato bugs did. These big beetles lay their eggs in the ground(I think) and it’s the huge grubs that eat the potatoes.

      Like

  5. Such an awful thing to happen! All those beautiful potatoes … I’m sure they were delicious.

    I read about your plan in one of the comments, and that sounds about the most sensible thing to do.

    Sorry!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Aren’t you kind to feed the ugly-looking ten-lined beetle. Wait. What? Ohhhh, you didn’t mean to give them such a feast. So many of my friends who have yard gardens have complained this year of the ‘critters’ who ate the vegetables before they did: carrots, tomatoes, squash, potatoes. My guy and I didn’t have that problem because we made a garden box (on legs, no less) on our deck, which gets full sun. Our tomatoes are round and untouched and luscious! 🙂 Our daughter buys coyote urine (yes, you can buy the stuff in small bottles) and spreads it around her garden to keep the bigger creatures out (like deer and squirrel). Not sure it would keep the beetles away, though. Good luck! Your photos are great.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m kind of “off” baked potatoes for a while, for obvious reasons. The good thing about these bugs is that they don’t stay in the potato. They just kind of eat it from the outside and go around the outside surface.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s