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Colorado Potato Beetle damage
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Colorado Potato Beetle - damage
See also: adult | larva

Scientific Name: Chrysomelidae: Leptinotarsa decemlineata

Status: pest of some vegetable crops, particularly potato

Damaging Stage: larval

Injury: The larvae feed on potato foliage until it is completely devoured. In addition to potato, they also feed on eggplant, tomato, pepper and others.

Action Threshold: Potato plants are able to tolerate approximately 30 percent defoliation in the early growth stages. However, once the tubers begin to bulk, they can only withstand about 10 percent defoliation. Beetle feeding damage occurs very quickly and so generally, if adults are found to be prevalent, control methods should be considered.

Management: Chemical controls are a necessity during a Colorado potato beetle infestation. These beetles develop resistance to insecticides extremely quickly so chemical pesticides should be rotated.