Friday, May 25, 2012

Potato Bugs!

Gardening is an ever changing challenge.  Once, I figure out how to rid one pest from the garden, another pest seems to show up!  Last year, I battled squash bugs.  I have done extensive research on how to deter the pesky things and felt that this year I wouldn't have problems.  I did not expect potato beetles.  There were no potato beetles last year in my experimental bed.  So where did these come from?

I was out in the garden the other day and saw what I thought was lady bugs.  I wasn't looking for anything on the potatoes.  I was busy looking at my zucchini and yellow squash leaves for signs of squash bugs.  The next day, I went back out to check and noticed my potatoes were looking strange.  I inspected closer and saw tons of these little reddish brown bugs ranging in size from a bit bigger than a flea to the size of Japanese beetle.  They were munching voraciously on the leaves of my potatoes!

This little guy has ate half this leaf!

I quickly Google 'how to get rid of potato bugs' and found out that unless I use chemicals (which I do not), I would have to hand pick the little buggers.  So I filled a bucket with water and vinegar, and set out to rid these pest from my potato plants.

Little Man became intrigued with the bugs.  So, he joined in the 'fun' of hunting, picking, and drowning the pests.

All the bugs we have picked and drowned.

This is going to be on ongoing process for the next few weeks.  But, maybe we have caught the problem early enough to save our potatoes.

Damaged leaves

Potatoes that haven't been ravaged.