Colorado potato beetle control methods
They say about the Colorado beetles - brought by the wind. Indeed, adult representatives of the family of leaf-eating pests are able, driven by the wind, to overcome more than 15-50 km per day. The speed of independent summer in calm weather is 4-8 km / h. The main years of adults begin in the fall in search of places convenient for wintering. About the peculiarities of breeding Colorado potato beetles and, of course, about methods of combating and preventing them - our article.
- Features of life and breeding Colorado beetles
- Ways to deal with Colorado beetles
- Varieties that are not afraid of the Colorado potato beetle
Features of life and breeding Colorado beetles
In winter, adult beetles burrow into the soil beyond freezing (70 cm and deeper). Part of the reserve of adult beetles remains in the ground for 2-3 years. In spring, when steady warm weather is established and air temperature rises to + 15 ° С, adults are selected to the surface. This is approximately the period of mass flowering of dandelions, the active growth of weed plants from the nightshade family (black and red nightshade, dope, belladonna, belena).
Eagerly eating young leaves of the desired weeds, beetles later fly from old eaten plants to young plantings of tomatoes, eggplant, potato tops. Here, on the lower side of 1-2 tiers of leaves of cultivated crops, the female lays eggs in heaps of 10-30 pieces.
The harmfulness of beetles is extraordinary fecundity and great appetite. One female lays 400-2500 yellow eggs in her life. Each beetle in a month eats more than 4 g of young leaves, and the larva more than 1 g, leaving only the skeletonized remains of green mass.
After 5-17 days, dark brown adults hatch from the eggs, which after 15-27 days of life change color to yellow-orange or bright orange. They go to the ground, where they pupate and come to the surface in the form of a young formed individual. Over the summer, Colorado beetles are able to give 2-4 generations, so beetles of different stages of development can develop on 1 bush. Damage caused by them can reach 100% yield loss.
Ways to deal with Colorado beetles
Ways to combat the Colorado potato beetle are divided into:
A major role in reducing the number of leaf-eating pests is given to preventive measures, which include agrotechnical and other methods of killing pests. Great help in the economy are folk methods of combating the pest.
An important method of combating the Colorado potato beetle is the proper management of the garden economy. Potatoes and other vegetable crops (desired for the pest) should return to their original place no earlier than 4-5 years. Therefore, crop rotation (crop rotation) is required, which would optimally regulate the correct alternation of vegetable crops, contribute to the timely cultivation and preparation of soil for planting or sowing a subsequent crop.
To do this, you must:
- make a crop rotation with the maximum variety of crops that will attract the natural enemies of the Colorado potato beetle (birds, ladybugs, ground beetles and others) to the garden and ensure that nightshade returns to its original place no earlier than a 4-5 year break;
- never the predecessors of nightshade can not place the culture of one family (for example: potatoes after eggplant, tomato and vice versa);
- after harvesting the predecessor, the soil must be well watered to provoke the emergence of weeds. On seedlings, apply mineral and organic fertilizers and dig the soil on the bayonet of a shovel (25-30 cm) on chernozems with a layer revolution. Avoid overgrowing the garden with weeds after harvesting;
- during the growing season, keep the fields clean from weeds, using the fields as mulch after loosening.
Popular methods of protection
Before the advent of chemicals, peasants widely used methods of combating the Colorado potato beetle, developed as a result of observations of the cycle of development and reproduction of pests.
The old "novelty" in agricultural technology of potatoes
Today, summer residents are returning to the old proven method of growing potatoes on mulch. To do this, on a plot prepared in the fall (freed from weeds, fertilized and dug up) for a potato, a high layer of mulch is raked. It can be fallen leaves, hay, straw, young (not seeded) weeds and other materials. During the winter, they settle from the natural processes of decomposition and under the pressure of a layer of snow.
In spring, the thickened layer of mulch is slightly spread, the tubers of the potato are laid out and again covered with a layer of mulch, 25-30 cm high. As shrinkage, the mulch is added, maintaining a high layer of coating material.
Wintered beetles catch the smell of fresh green potatoes, but they cannot get to it through a layer of mulch and die. In autumn, mulch is raked from the beds, tubers are harvested. Half-rotted summer mulch is scattered around the site and buried in the ground as an organic fertilizer. According to Russian summer residents and American farmers, there is practically no pest damage with this method of growing potatoes.
Infusions, decoctions and lures
Infusions and decoctions of herbs, insecticides are not as harmless as most authors write, offering alternative methods of protection against pests. Therefore, they must be used carefully and be sure to apply safety measures, especially for asthma and allergies.
- After planting potatoes, and during the period of single shoots throughout the plot (if it is small), cut potato tubers are laid out. Beetles crawl on the smell of potatoes. It remains to collect and destroy them.
- In potato plantings, various containers are dug flush with the soil, at the bottom of which there is a “Colorado delicacy” - peeling potatoes, especially with seedlings. 1-2 times a week it is necessary to check the traps. Caught bugs are collected in a separate bucket with soapy water or kerosene dressing and destroyed.
- In small areas, you can significantly reduce the number of pests by shaking in a basin, on the bottom of which a strong saline, kerosene or other poisonous solution for beetles is poured.
- Wood ash is boiled for 0.5 hours in a ratio of 1 kg / 10 l of water, insist 2 days. 40-50 g of laundry soap shavings (without bleaching properties) are added to the filtered solution and after it is completely dissolved, the concentrate is diluted once more with 10 l of water. The resulting working solution is sprayed with plants. If necessary, the spraying is repeated, it is better after the release of the imago of the Colorado potato beetle.
- Boil for 15-20 minutes in 10 liters of water 200 g of dandelion flowers and horsetail plants. Cool, strain. Dilute 0.5 l of the resulting concentrate in a bucket of water and sprinkle planting of nightshade.
- You can prepare a universal nut concentrate that affects a large list of leaf-eating pests. In autumn, a galvanized or wooden barrel is stuffed with fallen nut leaves, green nutshells and poured with boiling water. During the winter, a concentrate of nut extract is formed. 1-2 liters of concentrate are diluted with 10 liters of water and sprayed with a working solution of the desired concentration. The concentration test is carried out in the following way: dilute working solutions of different concentrations (1:10, 2:10, 1,5: 10.) And 1-2 plants of tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant are sprayed. After 1-2 days, they look after which working solution there are no burns on the treated bushes, with that solution and they are processing the entire area. The effectiveness of the application is high.
The Colorado potato beetle distinguishes between attracting and repelling plant odors. The latter are called natural insecticides. This method of protection was used by gardeners at a time when there were no pesticides. Insecticide plants include: calendula, beans, sedan beans, bush beans, coriander, garlic.
Planted along the edges of the beds and under separate bushes, these plants reliably protect vegetable crops from the invasion of the Colorado potato beetle. However, note that 1-2 plants will not be able to protect the culture from the pest.
Application of chemical protective measures
Biological preparations are made on a bacterial or fungal basis. They are harmless to warm-blooded animals and to a limited extent harmless to humans. Biological products Bitoxibacillin, Bicol, Colorado, Fitoverm, Agrovertin, Boverin destroy mainly young larvae. The effectiveness of the drugs is related to weather conditions and requires repeated spraying after 20-25 days. Doses and method of application are described on the packages and on the corresponding sites on the Internet.
Of the chemicals, Decis-Profi, Confidor, Commander, Corado, Aktara, Spark, Lightning and others are effective. Preparations are most effective in processing plantings during the period of mass exit of larvae. As a rule, these drugs belong to hazard class 3-4, and you need to work with them very carefully, observing all personal protection measures. As for biological products, the preparation of working solutions and methods of application are described in detail on the packaging and the corresponding Internet sites.
Varieties that are not afraid of the Colorado potato beetle
On garden plantings, among the usual varieties of potatoes, there are always several bushes that are practically not populated by the Colorado potato beetle. As a rule, in these bushes, the leaf blade is rigid, elastic, the leaves are directed upward at an acute angle, and are illuminated by the sun all day. Leave these bushes on seed potatoes.
Gradually, you get a variety of the variety that is more resistant to the bug than the original. Mostly diseased and weakened bushes with a horizontally spread leaf blade, which is very convenient for laying eggs, are affected by the beetle.
Breeding work on the cultivation of a variety opposing the pest began in the 90s of the last century in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Ukraine. Currently, breeders have proposed varieties that are 100% resistant to the aggression of the Colorado potato beetle. These are the following varieties offered by Belarus and Ukraine: Morning, reliable Bryansk, Lasunok, Kamensky, Orbit, Belorussky-3.
Of the Ural varieties, Temp and Antizhuk are on the market. All varieties are distinguished by coating with stiff hairs of the vegetative organs of the bush and an almost vertical arrangement of leaf blades. This structure prevents the pest from feeding and laying eggs. Potatoes do not need protection, since the Colorado potato beetle does not settle on them.
In mass sale, for planting over large areas of seed, it is not enough yet, but varieties are already available to gardeners for summer cottages. You can buy planting material in specialized stores or online stores of special sites and grow absolutely environmentally friendly basic food product at home.
From the proposed varieties, pay attention to the Morning variety. It is characterized by high drought tolerance, is not affected by late blight and scab, and is absolutely inedible for Colorado potato beetles. Of the early varieties, Lasunok is the leader. High-yielding, with good taste and keeping quality, it forms up to 12 tubers per 1 bush weighing 100-200 g each.