All you need to know about Colorado Potato Beetles in your garden

Sunset  – September 6, 2004

Both adult beetles and larvae feed voraciously on foliage of vegetables and flowers such as potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and nicotiana. They hatch from clusters of bright yellow eggs laid on leaf undersides. As adults they’re quite noticeable, due to their showy polka-dot vests and striped pants.

When the growing season ends, remove all spent plants immediately. In spring, till soil to expose overwintering pupae. A thick mulch may keep adults from reaching their target plants from the soil. Many beneficials help manage this pest, including ladybugs, lacewings, and spined soldier bugs. Bt tenebrionis is an effective control if applied when larvae are young and feeding heavily. Pyrethrin also works well; it is safe around food crops if used correctly.

Several chemical controls are listed by the manufacturers as effective against Colorado potato beetles, but in fact the pest is becoming resistant to many of these.