Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Return of the Potato Beetles

Over the weekend I found some tiny orange eggs on the underside of a tomato leaf. I left them there in hopes that they were eggs of some beneficial insect and therefore would be welcome in the garden.

WELL - it turns out that they are most likely Colorado Potato Beetle eggs! AUGH!!! I had these pests on my potatoes last year and there were too many to keep up with (picking them off and drowning them in a jar of soapy water).

Since tomatoes and potatoes are related, it isn't a surprise that the eggs are on the tomatoes. Still, I don't want them in the garden. Solutions? Some suggest spraying with a form of Bt that targets these pests, but the thing with Bt is that it really nails just about any larva, including those of beneficials and butterflies. So, we won't opt for that choice. It looks like I am going to have to go out daily and examine each plant (about 100 tomato plants and likely as many potato plants) and squish the eggs. Ick. The eggs hatch in about four days, so I guess I know what I will be doing this evening after work.

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