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How do you kill or control Colorado potato beetle?
Last year we had an infestation in our potato patch that was well beyond hand picking. None of the non regulated pesticides we tried killed them. Looking for ideas to control and kill.
 

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Control is easiest. Rotate them around the garden or, better by far, put them where there was grass the prior year.

Once they get out of hand, forget it. They hve to be nipped in the bud, constant vigilence is required. Check your plants every morning and squash those little buggers with your thumb. Missing one day can give them enough time.
 

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I'll second the vote for crop rotation. When you plant the seed potatoes in your new spot, try coating them in sulfur (available at most garden centers or your local RFD), after quartering, and then allowing them to air dry before planting.
 

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CountryWife, I've always read that the sulfur was a disease, not bug, preventative. Are you suggesting that it annoys the CPBs too?
 

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CountryWife, I've always read that the sulfur was a disease, not bug, preventative. Are you suggesting that it annoys the CPBs too?
I've read that it discourages bugs as well as disease. I have grown potatoes with and without, and there is most definitely a difference. Our sulfured crop had very few potatoes that had been bug infested.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We had 100' row of potatoes last year in soil that had previously been only in soybeans. We hand picked CPB's out of our tomatos and mesclun patch also, but lost the battle in the potatoes.
Anyone use Bt with success?
 

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Mix up a solution of tobacco, soap and water - then spray your plants down. For some reason bugs are smart enough to stay away from tobacco, while humans roll the tuff up and smoke it. Go figure that one out.

If possible, get some chickens - they will keep the bugs cleaned out. Chickens will also help keep the roaches out of your house.
 

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I've seen this question come up for discussion before. I do not have or ever had potato beetles where I garden now. Why? I do not know. I have had them on and off before we relocated. Some years were worse than others. But never un-manageable. The kids would flic them into a bean can for me to get rid of. I use more compost & manures here. I clean the garden in the fall. I plow or till before winter. No cover crops.
I would be glad to contribute an answer to your dilemma, but I don't know the answer.

Another bug that I haven't seen here, Japanese beetles.

My friend, just a few miles away, has her tomato plants eaten by horn worms. Me, not one?
 

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I have used BT for the CPB years ago but have not used it recently. I've read that there has been some resistance built up to BT but have no recent personal experience. I do believe the BT is most effective for the young larvae and becomes less effective for the adult population but others might correct me on that if I'm mistaken.

Other things that you might also consider... spinosad, pyrethrin, neem oil or maybe even insecticidal soap.

Controlling by hand picking can be pretty effective if you can do it before they get out of hand. Depending upon the size of the patch, that might be pretty daunting.

Best of luck!
 

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I would like to find a good method, picking them off is very limited. Chicken? mine won't touch them. Diatomaceous earth, I USED to be a believer, now not so much. Have some spinosad? to try this year. Will have to see. Last year was pretty bad. Funny thing is this was probably the first time potatoes or a garden had been planted there in maybe 10 years.
 

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if you want to go thermo-nucular, the commercial growers use asana xl, it repels all manor of bugs but you need to have it profesionally done. we had over an acre of potatoes one year and the grasshoppers and beatles moved in almost over night, hit them with the asuna xl and overnight they were gone. never saw a dead bug, they were just gone.
 

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My chickens won't touch them.

I waged war with the CPB last year and lost. Badly. Towards the end I used something called Colorado Potato Beetle Beater and it killed them. The damage was already too far gone, though. This year I plan to start out with the Beetle Beater and see what happens.

 

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Chickens would eat your crop too. Get you some guinea birds and they will eat every bug, arachnid and snake on the property. They can be louder than hell, but they don't scratch up the garden and eat your goodies like a chicken does and can fly away from most predators.
 

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Chickens would eat your crop too. Get you some guinea birds and they will eat every bug, arachnid and snake on the property. They can be louder than hell, but they don't scratch up the garden and eat your goodies like a chicken does and can fly away from most predators.
I was just thinkin' about guineas this morning and wondering how you keep them confined to the general area you want them to be in? Does the flock wander off like chickens would? Or are they somewhat territorial? I'd want them to wander the property freely but wouldn't really want them to leave the property.

Would a fence do a decent job of keeping them in? The last flock of chickens I had were kept in easily by a 3' chicken wire fence. They had enough room to roam within that fence that they really didn't lack for anything on the other side of the fence and they were pretty contented inside of it. The only time I ever had any issue was when there was a break in the fence at ground level where they'd go through any hole the right size, or, when something frightened them and they flew over the fence. Didn't happen often but once in a while, when a hawk or something similar would get close.

But I know guineas are a little different than chickens.

Maybe not quite on topic but I'd be interested in hearing how others have managed them.
 
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