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How the Colorado potato beetle looks and how it feeds


Colorado beetle - a representative of the leaf beetle family. Colorado beetles feed on various agricultural crops, such as: potatoes, sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and many others. These insects are dangerous pests. The appearance on the site is fraught with the destruction of most of the crop and subsequent problems.

general information

Colorado beetle - the most formidable pest. It is very voracious and its population is very difficult to control due to the rapid reproduction of individuals and the number of eggs that the female lays. A pest brought from North America managed to earn a reputation as a true killer of agricultural crops.

Despite everything, he can and must be fought. If you leave him alone and take no action, then can be left without harvest.

What harm does

The insect and its larvae are extremely voracious.

The name "leaf beetle" they received thanks to the love of eating the leaves of plants. The ration list includes: potatoes, tomatoes and other crops, they can also enjoy some colors, such as tobacco, petunia.

From the fruits and roots of the plant the beetle often refuses, because by its nature eats only tops and leaves. But even nature is sometimes deceptive, otherwise it is impossible to explain the fact that some representatives do not refuse fruits and young shoots.

Larvae are much more voracious than adults.. They can completely destroy all the shoots. When all the leaves are eaten and not whole, they are sent to eat leaf pulp, this leads to the complete destruction of the plant.

Individuals that are in the ground eat tubers. Potatoes refuse to grow, and in the end brings a meager crop, or nothing at all.

Where did you come from

Where is he from? Homeland - the northeast of Mexico. We first learned about him after he appeared and destroyed the fields in Colorado. Also in the northeast of Mexico live other members of the family of leaf beetles, feeding on wild cultures.


From the north of Mexico, the beetle went to America and destroyed the fields in Colorado

He set off from the northeast of Mexico inland North America. Reaching the United States of America, the insects devastated the potato fields in Colorado. From the name of the state where they first learned about beetles, the pest was given the name "Colorado beetle".

Stages of development

During winter, the insect is able to live at a depth of half a meter under the ground, individuals spend the winter there.

As soon as the thaw comes, the beetles come to the surface in search of food. The struggle with them is hindered by the fact that they leave the ground for a long time, the process takes from one month to several.

In total, the insect has four stages of development:

  • Egg. Insects leave their eggs on the leaves. As a rule, the female lays about a thousand eggs, which are oval in shape and are close to two millimeters in size. May be in the egg stage from five to seventeen days, it depends on external conditions. During this period, individuals acquire a darker tone.
  • Larva. The larva that just hatched from the egg, in turn, also implies four stages of development.

On first stage it is painted in dark gray. The size of the larva is two and a half millimeters. She uses leaf pulp as food.

Second stage caused by an increase in size to four and a half millimeters and a change in color to red. During the third - already nine millimeters, the larva also becomes red-yellow.

On last stage this individual has an orange color and a sixteen millimeter body.

What is dangerous larva

The larva is much more voracious than adults.

She is able to completely destroy all potato leaves, and when the leaves are gone, she will begin to eat pulp. Culture stops in its development, therefore, the plant will not grow. A gardener may remain with a poor harvest, or he may not get a single potato from a bush.

  • Baby doll. The larva slips from the potato leaf and goes underground to pupate. The duration of the transformation stage is approximately three weeks, again, depending on the conditions. The insect changes its color to yellow-orange.
  • beetle. Crawls out of its place of imprisonment, namely, the pupa, and begins to eat potato leaves. The young individual has a bright orange color.
Pupa stage

All of these stages are important for the full development of individuals. A fairly simple development, each stage takes some time.

How does it look

Average insect length twelve millimetersand width is eight millimeters. Looks like a yellow-orange beetle.

Adults have small membranous wings, with the help of them they make flights. On each sheath has 5 black stripes.

Adult Colorado potato beetle

How many lives

Usually representatives of the species live one yearbut some are able to live 2 or 3 years.

Remarkable for its ability fall into diapause (With this skill, the Colorado potato beetle slows down its metabolism, in other words, its metabolism, which allows it to go without food for a long time. As a rule, the ability is used to survive the winter, or a year that is scarce for food).

What kind of beetles look like Colorado

On the Colorado potato beetle are similar:

  • Haldman's Green Potato Beetle
  • Blue potato
  • Red potato
  • Texas False Potato
Similar beetles

How spread

As it was said, the homeland is the northeast of Mexico. From here, the individuals headed north, where they ate potato fields in many US states. A few years later, representatives of the species thoroughly entrenched in this place.

In the carriage of goods from the New World to the Old Colorado beetles were brought to Europe. They successfully fought with them, but during the First World War they were able to gain a foothold on the French fields, and from there they went further across Europe, traveling by means of freight cars.

Where winters

When the cold comes, representatives of the species burrow into the ground to a depth of half a meter and there successfully overwinter. They “dig out” during the thaw period. During the wintering period, some of the beetles die, but the large one still survives.

How to multiply

As a rule, individuals breed in autumn, before diapause, and in spring. The female can lay almost a thousand eggs in one laying. Deposition starts after three days after mating. Mating is carried out in sunny weather, mostly at noon.

The female lays eggs

Interesting Facts

  • When an insect feels in danger, it does not fly away, it falls to the ground and pretends to be dead.
  • An individual with the presence of wind can reach speeds of up to seven kilometers per hour.
  • Toxins accumulate on the surface of the insect's body, which makes it practically invulnerable to other insects.

How to deal with the Colorado potato beetle


Insects are fought with the help of many chemical agents. As a rule, insecticides are used, which are divided into two groups:

  1. Potatoes are processed at the time of landing (potato disinfectant) - "Prestige", "Matador Super", "Emperor".
  2. Which are processed during the growing season, plant growth - "Aktara VDG", "Aktellik".

Folk remedies

To get rid of the beetle, you can use a variety of popular methods. They are not as effective as chemical treatment, but still can help the gardener.

The list of folk methods to combat the beetle includes:

  • Dusting plants with ash
  • Dusting cornmeal
  • Dusting with cement or gypsum
  • Sowing between rows of sawdust
  • Spraying herbal infusions and decoctions
  • Planting repellent plants whose scent is unpleasant to the Colorado potato beetle

Popular methods can greatly help in the fight against insects.

Natural enemies

The number of savers of the garden from the larvae should be entered:

  • Ground beetles
  • Gold-eyed
  • Starlings
  • Predatory mites
  • Ladybugs
  • Guinea Fowl
  • It is also possible to teach turkeys to eat adults.
  • Mantis
Bedbug Perillus eats the Colorado potato beetle

It should be mentioned that the beetle able to kill himself, not without the help of gardeners, of course. On the body of the Colorado potato beetle there are toxins that can kill the host. It is necessary to place the beetles in any vessel filled with water and leave it there. The poison will dissolve and kill the bugs.

Prevention of appearance

Many gardeners claim to prevent the appearance of a large number of Colorado potato beetles on the site, it is necessary timely dig the ground, in which there are individuals, and collect beetles, which are in a state of diapause, in time to spud plants, again, collecting beetles with their own hands.

It is also necessary to use the popular methods of fighting the beetle, or chemical means, but gardeners are against the treatment of plants with something, arguing that everything gets into the potatoes that we eat afterwards. Perhaps they are right.