No, not the Beatles. These are Blister beetles, and they are eating the tar out of our potato vines! I first saw them when I walked the two 100-foot rows the day before yesterday.
These longish, gray beetles fly in and start not only eating like hogs but procreating all through the leaves. I quickly ran the ATV home from the Wolf garden and brought back two cans of pyrethrin dust. One wasn’t full and the can and a half only did one row and not all of that. They didn’t seem to be in the red Bliss Triumph potatoes yet, so I dusted the Dakota Pearls. But on the morning of the Fourth of July, there were many more and they were on everything! So I ran to town, half expecting the stores to be closed. Not so. But nobody had pyrethrin dust; only chemical insecticide, which I won’t use. Finally, in the livestock department of Tractor Supply I found some pyrethrin, bought two big cans and came home. Then I finished dusting both rows well. Fortunately, they weren’t in the tomato rows, right next to the potatoes. (These were the extra tomatoes from the greenhouse I couldn’t bear to throw out.)
So, today, I’ll go back to the Wolf garden and check to make sure there are no more beetles on either the tomatoes or potatoes. And you can bet I’ll also check our main tomatoes in the Sand garden too. By keeping close watch on your garden, you can sure keep pests and disease under control before something awful happens. Unless it’s cows in the garden …”Yep, Will, you better get the electric fence around the North and Wolf gardens soon!”
Just a note: We just got a single spot opened up for our August seminar here at our homestead. A wonderful lady who had signed up to come is not able to do so. She is offering her deposit to someone who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend. If you’d like to take advantage of this nice offer, just email me at email@example.com and I’ll give you the particulars. — Jackie