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Colorado beetle


Suzyq
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Reading through some of the recent contributions after a bit of an absence; what are your thoughts on this abysmal pest.

I have virtually given up growing main crop potatoes; except in a barrel, as I simply don't have the time to keep picking the blighters off; with blight following hot on the heels.

Organically derris (rotenene) is allowed but to what quantity; surely just the occasional dusting won't keep them at bay.
A friend swears by tagetes interplanted. I read that in america they use aubergines as a sacrificial crop; but I think I prefer them anyway - in any event our beetles didn't seem to bother it too much. Also heard about letting guinea fowl forage amongst the tatties.

Suze
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The earlies last year escaped the beetle but they don't like hot weather so it could have been that. When they did arrive they went onto the aubergines but not many of them. They also like tomatoes apparently.

Giving up the veg. Fed up. Need to plant the earlies in March and you can guarantee it pours down every day so they are in late..... And so it continues.

Much as I love my garden, and I do, I do, every spare minute I have there needs to be something done in it and it is getting ridiculous.
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I spray with soluble rotenone (cuberol pulverisation) when the larvae appear, about every two weeks, the same as Bordeaux mixture (if worried about both I spray with the Bdx, it has a milder but noticeable effect on the beetles, staves them off for a couple of days). If I see the odd adult I pick them off immediately and I make a point of checking if I am concerned; a bit of time spent picking them off saves a lot of time and effort spraying later. I always spray in the evening as rotenone is deactivated by heat or light - this makes an enormous difference, in my opinion if you can only spray on a hot sunny day you might as well not bother. I have not found the dust to be effective against anything. As the beetles are far more active in dry hot weather ideal spraying conditions are usually to be found the first evening after spotting them; prompt action is essential.
Planting early is beneficial as the plants are healthy and a decent size before the beetles are too active.
Organic farmers manage to grow enough for their cows to make it a worthwhile crop, those of us growing on a garden scale have it relatively easy.
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