Potatoes decimated!

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???

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Posts

  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489
    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. image
  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,068

    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!

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,475

    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.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,644

    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. 

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,068

    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.

     

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,644

    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!

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Waz200Waz200 Posts: 56

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

     

    Colorado Beetle

  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,068

    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.

     

     

  • 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!

  • Mel McbrideMel Mcbride Posts: 114

    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.

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