Potato Bugs

Search Best Potato Recipes

The Potato Bug also Known as...the Colorado Potato Beetle
....the Potato Beetle

Whatever you call them potato bugs, or Colorado potato beetles, have to be dealt with. These pests feed on potato leaves and will destroy the potato plants and spoil your hoped-for harvest. 

Potato bugs

The Colorado potato beetle is a frequent invader of potato crops. This potato bug is approximately 10 mm (0.4 inches) long, has a bright yellow/orange body highlighted with 5 dark brown or black stripes along the length of each of its front wings. 

Colorado beetles occasionally attack tomatoes and eggplants however are most destructive to potato crops.

In cold weather adult potato beetles are dormant under garden or field refuse. In the U.S. they emerge sometime in spring depending on the temperature and moisture conditions. They look for plants on which to feed, then they mate and lay eggs. When the larvae hatch they also begin feeding on the potato plants. Even if the infestation stays confined to a small area of a garden or field the potato bugs will do much damage. They will often kill entire rows of potato plants.

A couple of other potato bugs or potato pests include:

  • Flea beetles: shiny, black, beetles that you may not notice because of their small size (1/16 inch). They jump quickly from plants when disturbed. Flea beetles will attack cabbage plants, eggplant, radishes, spinach, sweet corn, turnip and potatoes. Evidences of their infestation are holes in potato plant leaves white streaks in foliage. You may also notice wilting and dying of potato plant leaves. The result will be a decreased yield.
  • Leafhoppers: these pests are up to 3/8 inch long, green in color, and wedge-shaped. They attack beans, carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, and canteloupe. You will know you have leafhopper damage when you see curled or crinkled foliage and "hopper burn" (caused by leafhoppers' feeding,) and shows up as brown edges on potato plant leaves.

Controlling Potato Bugs

Potato bugs are often resistant to sprays so other methods of control are sometimes more effective.

  • In a small potato patch, the potato bugs can be picked off and destroyed by hand.
  • Clean up garden debris to eliminate breeding spots.
  • Avoid planting potatoes in the same spot every year.
  • Introduce some natural enemies of the potato beetle, such as the ladybug, to your garden.
  • If you feel the need to use chemicals, consult with a garden store or agricultural expert.

Potato bug

How to Grow Potatoes

Reasons for Growing Potatoes

Types of Potatoes

Seed Potatoes

Planting Potatoes

Harvesting Potatoes

Storing Potatoes

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Potato Peelings.

Back to How to Grow Potatoes 

Share Your Potato Gardening Story and Photos

Electric Potato Peeler

About Me and Best Potato Recipes

Best Potato Recipes Home Page

Privacy Policy

 Advertising Disclosure

Amazon Associates Disclosure

Judith Ramsey is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Thank you for supporting this site so I can continue to bring you Best Potato Recipes.

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Potato Peelings.

Recent Articles

  1. Best Potato Soup Recipes

    Nov 28, 15 07:10 PM

    These are our best potato soup recipes for several reasons. One is the easiest potato soup recipe you will find. Another is a very healthy potato soup and all are some of the tastiest potato soups.

    Read More

  2. Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

    Nov 06, 15 10:41 AM

    Make ahead mashed potatoes are a time saver when you want a mashed potato recipe that does not need to be fixed last minute. It is the best mashed potato recipe for holiday meals.

    Read More

  3. Baked Mashed Potatoes Recipe

    Oct 23, 15 04:01 PM

    Combine the goodness of mashed and baked potatoes with a baked mashed potatoes recipe.

    Read More

Best Potato Recipes
on Facebook!