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How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs In Your Garden

Potato bug, also known as Colorado potato beetle, is infamous among farmers. These bugs are actually small beetles with a hard body, orange color and covered with black stripes. They breed quickly, laying up to 30 eggs at a time. These bugs eat out potato plants and damage them to the point of complete plant removal.

They are known to be very difficult to get rid of as their strong appetite needs have made them adaptable to many insecticides and organic compounds used to kill them. However, there are still some ways to decrease the infestation and give you time to prevent the next invasion.


There is nothing you can do to keep the potato bugs away if you do not kill the environment, which attracts them in the first place. Other methods may help you get rid of them but it will only be a timely solution, which is why it is very important that you work on a sustainable prevention method. Prevention is an effective way to get rid of the infestation before it takes deeper roots. Potato bugs are nocturnal insects and they like humid, damp and dark places to live in. Keep your garden clean and do not let there be any litter, otherwise potato bugs will try to find a home in such 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.

  • Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is an organic compound found in a form of soft rock. It is made from grinding the rock, which is actually formed through fossilization of different organisms; including algae, sea creatures, planktons etc. This compound has microscopic sharp edges which pierce through the exoskeleton of any insect or a bug and dries it up from inside, eventually killing it.

Diatomaceous earth is not toxic to humans or animals but very lethal to bugs crawling around. It is used in dry form. Sprinkle the compound on leaves of the infected plant and leave it be. The powder will form a coating over the leaves and do its work. Remember to sprinkle it all over again if it frequently rains in your area. You will not have to worry about washing the leaves off as wind usually blows it off.  At Solutions Pest & Lawn you can order Alpine Dust Insecticide which contains diatomaceous earth.

  • Neem Oil

Neem oil, known for its antibacterial properties, is also used as a natural insecticide. It is a natural deterrent of bugs and critters and keeps them from coming back again. Neem oil can kill potato bugs by going inside their bodies through direct ingestion and slowing down their internal systems, causing them to stop reproducing and die. Neem oil is not toxic for pets and humans, which is why it can be easily used even if you have pets in your house.

To use neem oil, apply it on the leaves and saps of your plant by making a diluted mixture with water. Spray it on the plants and repeat the process after three days. Regular application will make them not come back and keep your plants safe. If you live in an area where rain is frequent, reapply neem oil after rain every time.

  • Use Paper Insect Trap

This method should be only used when the infestation has not spread too much or the infestation is in its early stages. Using bug trap can help you get rid of them but only until they come and invade the next time.

You can get insect paper trap from your local pest control and spread out these paper sheets near the infested area. Bugs will be stuck in the trap and you can remove the sheets. You can make this trap at home as well. For that, you will need a wooden plank and some petroleum jelly. Spread out thick layers of jelly on the plank and place the plank near the infested area. Bugs will be stuck to the plank in the similar manner and you can remove the plank once you think it has caught enough. Repeat the process as necessary.

We suggest B&G Lo Line Insect Trap. Order it now today. We also suggest Cyonara Lawn & Garden RTU. You can safely spray this in your garden without harming plants.

Introducing Good Bugs in Your Garden

It is not okay to have plant eating critters in your garden but there are some good guys who we can always call for help. Ladybug, green lacewing and ground beetles are natural predators of potato bugs and they do not harm you plant as well since they do not feed on plants in the first place. Mulch your plant with straw to create a habitat that will attract ladybugs and green lacewing. They will get rid of the intruders for you. Not just potato bug, but they will take care of many other insects as well. You can also get them from your local pest control center in bulk and spread them around in your garden.

Hand-pick them

Another simple but tiresome method is picking the potato bugs with your hand. You can hand pick these bugs and check the undersides of leaves to see if there are any eggs attached as these bugs usually lay their eggs under the leaves. Find them and wipe them off, it will help you control the infestation to a great extent.

Companion Planting with Bug Repellant Plants

Companion planting is used as a prevention method by many farmers. Planting bug repellant plants near your flowering and fruit plants will keep them safe. Onion, garlic, catnip, mint and tansy are among such repellant plants, which can be placed next to your potato plant.


We hope that the advice we have given you above is helpful in your mission to eliminate potato bugs. For more helpful DIY advice, call us (800-479-6583), email us (askapro@solutionsstores.com) or live chat with us online.



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