How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs In Your Garden

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How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs In Your Garden

How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs In Your Garden

Most Effective Products

Viper Insect Dust
As low as $14.66
Keith's Pro Tips

"Apply Viper Insect Dust when the air is calm to avoid drift and contact with eyes and skin. Potato Bugs like to hide on the underside of potato leaves and other vegetable leaves so make sure not to forget to apply there."

How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs In Your Garden

This page is an expert guide on getting rid of Potato Bugs from your garden using the products and methods suggested by our experienced pest control specialists. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and you will eliminate Potato Bugs, guaranteed.

A pest that is notorious for its ability to show up in residential gardens and cause destruction is the Colorado Potato Beetle, more commonly known as the Potato Bug. These crop-damaging pests get their name from originally being discovered in Colorado in the late 1800's for feeding on potatoes but they have since spread across the entire nation and have expanded their diet to include other plants and vegetables.

Potato Bugs have been declared a major pest both by home gardeners and agricultural farmers. Both Potato Beetle adults and their larvae are destructive to plants. One of the most frustrating aspects of dealing with this bug is not just that it can create significant crop damage in a short amount of time, but its the Potato Bugs resistance to many garden insecticides.

If you are dealing with a Potato Bug infestation and damage to your precious garden plants, read on to find out what you should do to kill potato bugs and remove them from your garden using our DIY guide and expert advice.


Potato Bug upclose for Identification

Before you can implement a control program, you need to identify and make sure that the pest you see are, in fact, Potato Bugs and not some other pest. Careless identification can lead to using the wrong pesticides, which is a waste of your time and money.

  • The Potato Bug, also known as the Colorado Potato Beetle, are tiny beetles that are about 3/8th of an inch long.
  • As adults, Potato bugs have a hard-shelled body, orange-colored head and are covered with black stripes. They breed quickly, laying up to 30 eggs at a time.
  • The Potato Beetle eggs hatch out larvae that are a dark red color with black heads starting out and then as they mature the red becomes a pink or salmon color.
  • During the plump larval phase, Potato Bugs also are covered in black spots and can mature into adults as quickly as 10 days. These bugs eat out potato plants and damage them to the point that they are unfit for consumption.

Use the image and description above to properly identify Potato Bugs. If you are not sure, contact us and we will assist you with proper identification.


Potato bugs and larvae on a leaf

Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with Potato Bugs, you can then move forward with an inspection. During this phase, you will need to locate the areas where you see Potato Bug activity so you know where to focus your pesticide treatment.

Where To Look

Focus your search in areas where your garden plants, flowers, and vegetation are in your yard. Potato Bugs are often seen feeding on the leaves and stems of potatoes, but can also be seen feeding on peppers, tomatoes, or eggplants, among other similar crops.

What To Look For

You're going to be looking for garden plant damage and holes in your potatoes and other vegetables. You should also look for active adult Potato Bugs, their larvae and any egg casings they have laid on or around the plant that is infested.


Getting rid of Potato Bugs can be tough because they are known to develop a resistance to chemical treatments. Our recommendation is a combination of collecting or manually removing any Potato Bugs, larvae and egg casings by drowning them in soapy water as well as applying Viper Insect Dust.

Viper Insect Dust is a powder-based insecticide designed to kill and control a large number of garden damaging pests, including Potato Bugs, while doing no harm to the vegetation. Make sure to put on personal protective equipment before handling or applying any pesticides.

Step 1 - Apply Viper Insect Dust

Wearing safety gloves, use a dust applicator such as a shaker can, a handheld pesticide duster, a bulb duster or other appropriate duster to lightly and precisely apply the product. Fill the duster halfway with the Viper Insect Dust and then lightly apply to your Potatoes and other garden plants.

Start applying at the farthest corner of the treatment area and work backward to avoid contact with dusted surfaces. Dust lightly to cover both the top side and underside of vegetable and leaf surfaces with a thin even film of dust. This is because many Potato Bugs will hide on the underside of the plant.

Apply up to 8 times per season. Viper Insect Dust can be applied until 14 days before harvest.


Tending to garden to prevent Potato Bugs

To keep Potato Bugs away from your garden vegetables, you will need to place some preventative measures in place. Here are a few things we suggest to hinder a return of Potato Bugs:

  • Keep your garden clean and do not let there be any loose leaf litter, otherwise potato bugs will try to find a home in such an environment.
  • Clean any dead grass from your garden, any wooden plank or boards lying around, and rocks, as these are dark places which potato bugs find suitable.
  • You could also introduce natural predators of Potato Bugs to your garden to regulate any future potential reinfestation. Mulch your plants with straw to create a habitat that will attract ladybugs, ground beetles and green lacewings. These bugs will get rid of Potato Bugs for you while doing no damage to your garden.

Key Takeaways

What are Potato Bugs?

  • Potato Bugs refer to the Colorado Potato Beetle, a common garden pest known for damaging potatoes and other vegetables and can do a lot of damage if there is no intervention.

How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs

  • We recommend a combination of manual removal of Potato Bugs and applying Viper Insect Dust on your plants and to kill Potato Bugs and end the infestation.

Preventing Potato Bug Reinfestation

  • To prevent Potato Bug re-infestation, reapply Viper Insect Dust, reduce conducive conditions like leaf litter, and introduce natural predators like beetles and ladybugs.
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