The Colorado potato beetle also commonly known as the Potato beetle is a garden pest you don't want to encounter in your home garden because they are difficult to get rid of due to its natural resistance to insecticides.
Both the adult beetle and its young chew leaves and will defoliate entire crop fields if given the opportunity. Plants such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes are especially vulnerable to an attack.
The adult potato beetle a round yellow-orange body with black stripes on their wings and black markings at the base of the head.
Their larvae young grow ⅛ to ½ inches long and have a black head and legs with a yellow-red or orange body that has two rows of black spots on both sides of it.
The adult will hibernate during the winter months in your garden debris and soil until spring.
After emerging from hibernation, the beetle will search for food nearby in host plants.
Females lay clusters of orange-yellow eggs on the undersides of the plan leaves. Within a week or two, the eggs hatch into voracious larvae that feed on the plant for a month and then drop to the soil below to pupate for about a week until they emerge as adults to start a new future generation of potato beetles.
To keep an infest of potato beetles from letting your vegetable garden become their next meal, natural methods are a must.
Remove adult beetles and larvae from plant leaves by hand and place them into a bucket of warm soapy water.
Till your garden after harvesting in the fall and mulch 3 inches deep with a layer of hay to new plant growth during the spring to slow movement of adults looking for their next meal.
Introduce beneficial insects like the ladybug, soldier bug, and lacewing, which feed on eggs and their larvae.
Use beneficial nematodes in your garden soil to destroy the immature larva developing underground.