Action Taken Against Tuber Flea Beetles

I have taken steps!  At night . . . by the full moon . . . in my best dress and my trusty wellies . . . with a galvanized watering can . . .

Boy, we really are Tom and Barbara Good, aren’t we?

Anyway, what I have done is unleash the nematodes!  Steinernema carpocapsae, to be specific.  The University of Oregon and the National Site for the USDA Regional IPM Centers Information System both recommended these nematodes to be used against the tuber flea beetles that we recently found that we’re up against.  The nematodes search and destroy the larvae of the beetles, reducing the damage that the larvae can do to our precious potatoes.  I was going to treat the adults to some neem oil, but by the time I got the nematodes there were no adults left above ground.  Hopefully, by introducing these nematodes this year, moving the potatoes next year (not that we’ve ever grown them in the same ground twice) and perhaps applying nematodes again next year we can break the cycle.  Hopefully.

Application was kind of fun.  Most times that I have to turn to a commercial organic product (as opposed to homemade) the application is as simple as diluting and spraying.  This was a little different.  Because direct sunlight will kill my 1 million microscopic new best friends I had to mix and apply them after sunset.  Lucky for me, the night in question was a full moon.  Why I was still wearing my best dress is anyone’s guess (Beats me!), but oversize black and white polka dots do go very nicely with old-fashioned black wellies.

— Amanda

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