Colorado potato beetles are creepy bugs that eat up your potato crop, whether or not you happen to live in Colorado. Using natural methods as deterrents for Colorado potato beetles is more effective than using pesticides. Who wants pesticides in their food anyway? What’s poison for bugs is poisonous for humans. Here are five effective natural methods for keeping Colorado potato beetles out of the garden.
1. Plant beans and potatoes together. Companion planting is often used as a natural method for pest control. In the case of the Colorado potato beetle, try planting beans with your potatoes. Bean bugs hate potatoes and potato bugs hate beans. It’s a winning combination for keeping both pests out of the garden.
2. Fight potato bugs with other bugs. Top notch natural methods for fighting pests always include bug wars. Use the natural enemies of Colorado potato beetles to drive them right out of the garden (or gobble them up). Ladybugs love potato beetle eggs. The spined soldier bug and the two spotted stink bug find potato bug larvae to be a delicacy. Invite these bugs into your garden to eliminate potato bugs in a flash.
3. Hand pick them. Help out your bug brigade by hand picking Colorado potato beetles from the plants. Each one you pick off by hand has the potential to create up to 500 babies. That’s a lot of chewing. Wear gloves and bring a jar of soapy water and tweezers with you to pick a crop of potato bugs. Just pick them off with the tweezers and drop them in the jar.
4. Use natural bacterial spray. Colorado potato beetles are highly susceptible to certain bacteria. There is a bacterial spray available at garden centers that makes potato bugs stop eating and die. This natural method is much better than spraying harmful chemicals all over your potato crop. Plus, it’s actually far more effective than commercial insecticides.
5. Get an early start. Adult Colorado potato beetles are very resistant to sprays and other insects. They are more easily overcome when young. To keep potato bugs out of the garden, start early. This is true, no matter what natural method you use to fight them. The best way to keep the Colorado potato beetle out of the garden is to strike them while they’re young.