how to get rid of colorado potato beetle: 12 Organic Ways

Is your garden infested with Colorado Potato Beetles? How To get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles with the help of the tips mentioned below.

Are Colorado Potato Beetles wreaking havoc on your lawn? With their high resistance to insecticides, it may be hard for you to get rid of Colorado potato beetles.

However, with the tips mentioned in this article, you can ensure that you get Colorado Potato Beetles out of your lawn and out of your lives.

colorado potato beetle control

What Are Colorado Potato Beetles?

The scientific name of Colorado Potato Beetles is Leptinotarsa decemlineata. This beetle was first seen in Nebraska, and afterward, it was found in Colorado–hence the name.

Colorado Potato Beetles are about ½ and ¼ of an inch in length. The back of their heads is of yellowish and orangish color.

These bugs can easily be recognized by the presence of black and yellow stripes that are present on their shells.

The larvae of Colorado Potato Beetles are enclosed in a yellow-orange egg that is mainly found in clusters. These beetles lay their eggs at the bottom of the leaves.

The larvae of Colorado Potato Beetles are of bright red color. As they grow older, they take the color orange-pink.

Colorado Potato Beetles are present in all the states with the exception of Nevada, Alaska, California, and Hawaii. Other than in the United States, they are also found in almost all the provinces of Canada.

Colorado potato beetle damage

Colorado potato beetle (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) damage is a problem in the state of Colorado.

The beetles are Damage indicator beetles that live on plants and They can cause important damage to crops.

The main symptom of the beetle is a brown spot on the potato tuber.

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Damage caused by this beetle can reach 50% of a crop, so it is important to get rid of the beetles before they cause much damage.

Difference between a Colorado Potato Beetle and False Potato Beetle 

Colorado Potato Beetles are highly voracious in nature and can sometimes be misinterpreted for False Potato BeetlesFalse Potato Beetles are not pests. They have black and white stripes on their shells, which is one of their most distinguishing characteristics  
In Southeast America and mid-Atlantic, you do not find Colorado Potato Beetles  False Potato Beetles are commonly found in Southeast America and mid-Atlantic  
Colorado Potato Beetles lack a brown strip on the backFalse Potato Beetles have a light brownish strip that causes an interruption between their black and white stripes  
Colorado Potato Beetles can cause a lot of damage to your lawnFalse Potato Beetles are not as destructive as Colorado Potato Beetles  

Some Facts about Colorado Potato Beetles

  • Adult Colorado Potato Beetles are more active in the spring seasons, which is the same time that the potato plants tend to emerge from the ground.
  • Colorado Potato Beetles can extensively defoliate plants after feeding on the leaves.
  • Colorado Potato Beetles are resistant to many pesticides and insecticides.

How to Get Rid of Colorado Potato Beetles

While it can be quite challenging to get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles, it is not impossible.

The most important thing is to pay attention to your garden and act swiftly. The more time that you take, the harder it will become to salvage your potato crops.

Spotting this pest at the egg stage can prevent your crops from much damage. Read on to learn some ways to eliminate these beetles from your garden.

Ways To Getting Rid of Colorado Potato Beetles

1. Plant Some Trap Crops With The Potato Crops

You can outsmart the pesky bugs by planting trap plants around the garden. With the trap crops, you will get some margin to delay their spread. 

  • The beetles would be attracted to the first crops growing around the garden. When they are colonizing on the trap crops, you can go on the offensive and kill them all.
  • For trap crops, you can use potatoes, horse nettle, buffalo bur, and ground cherry.
  • You can also confuse the pests by growing crops that they do not like to consume, like corn.

2. You Can Get Floating Row Covers

You can get a customized floating row cover which is light in weight and can help in protecting your plants.

You need to ensure that the floating covers are fully secured to the grounds so that the pests do not have any space to invade. 

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3. You Can Hand-Pick Colorado Potato Beetles

The first signs of a pest problem may be determined by the destruction of the leaves.

You should keep a check on the potato leaves–make sure that you scrutinize the undersides properly.

  • If you come across Colorado Potato Beetles, their larvae, or the eggs, you can get rid of them by hand-picking them and tossing them in a container with soapy water.
  • The eggs and the larvae of these beetles stand out significantly due to their color.
  • The bright yellow-orange color of the tiny eggs enhances their visibility and makes them prominent from the green foliage.
  • Keep tabs on your plants on a regular basis, and your vigilance can allow you to control these beetles before the problem gets serious.

4. You Can Use Neem Oil

Neem oil can work fairly well in order to get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles. This oil is also one of the favorite organic insecticides used by many gardeners.

  • Neem oil consists of many compounds that are present in commercial pesticides.
  • To get rid of these beetles, you can spray the plant with neem oil. When the bug feasts on the treated plant, it can affect Colorado Potato Beetles.
  • Neem oil acts on the pests and reduces their feeding, along with affecting their hormones and messing up their reproducing abilities.

The best part about neem oil is that it is an organic pesticide.

You should note that being organic does not mean that it is safe for humans; it just means that it is made from ingredients that are naturally occurring.

Many gardeners experience irritations in the skin when they are exposed to neem oil.

5. You Can Opt for a Vacuum Cleaner

You can search for “bug vacs” that are specifically designed for bugs and use them to get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles, their eggs, and also the larvae.

If you do not find bug vacs, you can use the regular handheld vacuum to get rid of these beetles too.

6. You Can Use Deterrent Sprays

When the beetles are adults, they have a hard carapace around them. In their larval stage, they lack this hard carapace and are soft-bodied.

Hence, the larval stage is the best one to use deterrent sprays.

You can buy a store-bought deterrent spray and use it to get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles. Make sure that you follow the instructions on it.

7. You Can Encourage Natural Predators

Ladybugs and Stink bugs prey on the larvae of Colorado Potato Beetles. You can artificially introduce these bugs in your garden.

While these natural predators cannot be an overall defense strategy, they can be one line of defense against Colorado Potato Beetles.

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You can also make your garden bird-free by adding a birdbath, seed feeders, water sources, and housing. This will allow the birds to feed on the beetles and their larvae.

Preventative Methods to Avoid Colorado Potato Beetles

Treating the infestation of Colorado Potato Beetles can be tough.

To avoid this, you should focus on preventative methods that can protect potato crops from bugs.

Here are some preventative methods that you can use for this.

1. Make Sure You Are Opting for Companion Planting

You can plant some plants that deter these beetles along with the potato crops. You can even interplant them with potatoes for maximized results.

Some plants that deter these beetles are coriander, catmint, tansy, and nasturtium. The green beans are also good to deter the potato beetles, and you can use them too.

2. Make Sure You Are Practicing Crop Rotation

Avoid growing potato crops in the same place as always. Rotate their places so that you do not give easy access to the potato beetles.

Potato beetles tend to spend the winter in the previous year’s patches of potato crops.

With your potato planting in the same place, it can lead to convenience for them to access the potato crops.

Also, make sure that you do not plant the potatoes where tomatoes, peppers, or eggplant were grown before. 

3. You Can Use Straw Mulch

If you mulch with a heavy layer of sprays, it will help in attracting the predators of the potato beetles.

The green lacewings, ladybugs, and ground beetles create their habitat there – they help in the betterment of the crops and also help in deterring Colorado Potato Beetles.

Colorado potato beetle natural enemies?

Colorado potato beetle’s natural enemies are insects that specialize in fighting the Colorado potato beetle. This beetle’s natural enemies are predators that eat the eggs of the potato beetle like Stink bugs and lady beetles 


Colorado Potato Beetles can be a nuisance in gardens. They can cause massive destruction in crops and can ruin the entire plantation.

A serious infestation can be hard to get rid of, even with pesticides.

When you are growing potatoes, you should make sure that you opt for all the preventative methods to safeguard yourself from the Colorado Potato Beetles.

colorado potato beetle Control FAQs

Q: Do Birds Eat Colorado Potato Beetles?

Yes, birds do prey on Colorado Potato Beetles. Hence, you can make the garden bird-friendly to get rid of Colorado Potato Beetles.

Q: Will Marigolds Keep Potato Bugs Away?

Marigolds repel many pests, and this also includes Colorado Potato Beetles.

Q: Will Sevin dust kill Colorado potato beetle?

There is currently an ongoing battle between the Colorado potato beetle and a pesticide company, Sevin.

The beetle has become increasingly wiped out in Colorado due to the use of this pesticide, but Sevin wants to see it die.

They believe that the dust created by their product will kill off the bug and help to preserve crops.

Q: What plants keep potato beetles away?

Plants that keep potato beetles away from potatoes include mint, sage, peppers and marigold.