Maxsky starts with ...
My potatoes have suddenly died over the last couple of days and I found these yellow caterpillar like creatures everywhere in them! What are they? Will they spread to my other edibles? How do I get rid of them? Thank you so much for your help. It's the first year I've tried growing my own fruit and veg so I'm still learning.
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19th December 2017 4:55pm
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Your potato was or being attacked by the larvae of 26-28 spotted leaf eating ladybird. There are four species of ladybirds the others are beneficial but not the one that annihilated your potato patch. Spraying them with contact insecticide will also kill the other friendly ladybirds. The best way to control this pest is to hand pick them and throw them into a tin can of methylated spirit and scraped off the eggs from the underside of the leaves too and into the toxic brew. You can also make an organic spray made of hot chili pepper extract, (2 cups of chili by 2 cups of water) but you need a lot of chilies to be effective. You can also use garlic but the garlic brew break down quickly hence less effective than the chili pepper concoction. They like to feast mostly on cabbage, bean, potato and their family. So if you have these plants the villains might be devouring them already after decimating your potato plants.
And by the way, mostly these buggers attack stressed plants. If your potatoes were water and fertilizer deficient they were an easy target for those critters. Next time make sure that your plants are in optimum health to be able to fight off any pests and diseases that may come their way.
Happy Gardening :-)
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23rd December 2017 8:30pm
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