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14/07/2014 at 23:53

Until yesterday potatoes were doing wonderfully, have flowered and everything, looked extremely healthy - more luck than judgement! However, it rained heavily all day yesterday and today when I went out to check the plot, two nearly three plants were virtually gone - absolutely covered in these stripy beetles. It is a Bank Holiday here in France today but tomorrow morning I am going out to get something drastic to deal with them (sorry to all organic gardeners but there are hundreds of them). My question is, can the shredded plants be saved or is that it for them? Really don't think the potatoes underneath could be big enough yet if they have only just flowered???

15/07/2014 at 00:16
I'm not entirely sure but the Colorado potato beetle is striped, yellow and black I think. I have no idea if they've made their way to France or not though.
15/07/2014 at 00:28

Thanks, think that is what it it is - I have swiped them all off for now, but definitely getting something strong tomorrow. There were none there the day before yesterday - hundreds today, never seen anything like it. Think I need to have a good plan for next year to prevent it happening again. Lots of research to be done!

15/07/2014 at 02:14

Colorado beetle are a notifiable pest in the UK but not on the continent.  Read this thread for more info:

http://limousin.angloinfo.com/forum/viewtopic/25630/0/watch-out-the-colorado-beetle-is-back

My commiserations Jap3 - it's a very damaging pest.

15/07/2014 at 04:44

Hi Jap3

I dont know if this is the culprit or not but there is a beetle called a Blister Beetle rampaging across spain and southern france

15/07/2014 at 05:54

To distinguish Colorado beetles from Striped Blister Beetles see here

http://www.fera.defra.gov.uk/plants/publications/documents/factsheets/coloradoBeetle2006.pdf 

http://www.123rf.com/photo_19574969_mylabris-variabilis-blister-beetle-oil-beetle-in-southern-france-europe.html 

I'm afraid that both of them like to eat solanacae so potatoes are vulnerable. 

15/07/2014 at 07:13

Hi Jap3

This is one of the European Blister beetles I still dont know if its this one

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52531.jpg?width=300&height=350&mode=max

 

15/07/2014 at 09:17

It is definitely the Colorado one, I have bought some spray and covered as much of the plants as possible, way too many to squish by hand, I will keep an an eye on the success (or not) - of the spray. Such a shame. Thanks for help and advice.

 

15/07/2014 at 09:52

I remember when I was at primary school a very long time ago, there were posters of Colorado Beetle on the wall and we were all told to look out for them on potatoes and tell the village policeman if we saw one!  A real threat in agricultural areas!

15/07/2014 at 10:14

They're known to wipe out the foliage of entire fields. See link below.

 

Colorado Beetle

15/07/2014 at 11:59

I actually have a vague recollection now of my Dad saying something about them wiping out potato crops and how dangerous they were going to be. All these years later and still causing havoc.

 

 

15/07/2014 at 12:09

Hi Jap3

Apparently Chickens like them and the larvae, you could have your crops enviromentally friendly cleaned for you and a lovely potato omelettethrown in for good measure

15/07/2014 at 12:37

Where's there's a beetle, there's probably a predatory mite or nematode that can sort it out, without having to spray. Good luck!

15/07/2014 at 17:51

Earlier in the year, one of mine spud pots with about four plants was severly batterered by wind, lost most of the leaves. The that followed with them being eaten badly by what must have been an ARMY of slugs.

All that was left was a few sorry looking leaves at the base and a stem that looked yellowy and dead. I left them in the pot and they're growing fine now. They haven't flowered, but then, so many years some plants haven't and still produce great spuds.

-- Just put my hand in the pot and they're doing fine. Not got thick skins yet, I scraped it off with my finger nail very easily! But they're on track.

15/07/2014 at 21:35

Poor things, but obviously very resilient.Hope mine survive, I have been crushing beetles all day - and they have got around the garden, read something that said they were good walkers - certainly true here! 

15/07/2014 at 21:36

We are getting ducks not chickens, do you think they will eat them too?

 

15/07/2014 at 23:01

My courgettes got covered in aphids last week. I got them off with soapy water spray, just blasted them off. The soapy water made it easy to slide them off, running the watering can over them.. I don't have a hose, that would have worked better! I lost a load of leaves.. but made sure I poured boiling water over the whole area, so they definitely didn't survive!

15/07/2014 at 23:04

^^ they were in grow bags so it was pretty easy. I don't know what I would have done if they were in the ground. The top half of most of the stems was almost completely back. It was like village of the damned in the poly tunnel that morning 

16/07/2014 at 05:15

Hi Jap3

Yes,,, Ducks will eat Colorado Beetle

16/07/2014 at 10:05

Great news, will get hubby to hurry up and finish building the duck house! Can't spend another day murdering beetles.What we gardeners to do to protect our precious plants, my poor little boy has to fend for himself!

 

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