Colorado Potato Beetle

The Colorado Potato Beetle adults emerged from the soil last week and are already present in numbers. This is a fascinating insect (check out video of life cycle), that can be a pest or beneficial. Wise management of pesticides is important because Colorado Potato Beetles are the classic model for insecticide resistance, having developed resistance to over 50 pesticides.

If you are a potato farmer, this insect is a pest, and a bad one at that. Based on my experience it prefers potatoes over other plants, but when potatoes aren’t around this insect will eat a wide variety of plants in the genus Solanum, such as Horse Nettle. I have seen fairly effective control of this plant by Colorado Potato Beetles in Bootheel soybean fields, especially on sandy soils.

Whether you view this insect as an interesting weed control agent, devastating pest, or something in between is up to you (and maybe the crops you raise). The adults are up and out of the soil, and the larvae will soon be munching away on the solanaceous plants that they require.


Categories: Insects


1 reply


  1. Revisting the Colorado potato beetle | bootheelagpestmanagement

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