The Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata, is a common but troublesome potato pest. Damage caused by the orange, striped adult beetle and the black-spotted, red larva result in ragged looking leaf edges. Both larvae and adults feed on foliage and terminal growth, which can limit tuber development. The CPB can also be carriers of spindle tuber, bacterial wilt and ring rot. Implementing an early season pest management system is important because uncontrolled CPB populations can completely defoliate potato plants and cause total loss of tuber production.
One of the best options for CPB management is crop rotation. The key is to rotate potatoes to a field that is at least 200 yards away from the previous field. Barriers such as roads, rivers, woodlands, and other field crops are also helpful deterrents. Rotated fields are usually colonized one to four weeks later in the season, which allows the potato plants some extra time to mature. The total population of adult beetles also tends to be lower, producing fewer larvae which should result in less damage to the plants.
Ideally, starting the season with an effective, broad-spectrum seed treatment will limit damage and control the CPB population. Applying a seed treatment such as CruiserMaxx® Potato insecticide/fungicide helps to protect young potato plants and fend off unwanted pests leading to higher quality, more marketable potatoes. Combining the long-lasting capabilities of Cruiser® seed treatment insecticide and Maxim® 4FS seed treatment fungicide, CruiserMaxx Potato will help protect seedlings against a wide-range of insect pests as well as safeguard against all major seed-and soil-borne fungal disease pathogens.