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7 Plants To Help Control Potato Bugs: {Companion Planting}

These bugs (Colorado Potato Beetle) are a well known pest that target potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and even your prized petunias! They not only thrive on the leaves, but are also known to feast on the fruit. If left unchecked, they will affect your garden’s yield and can kill young, tender plants.

Natural Ways To Repel

There Are Natural Ways You Can Try To Repel These Little Guys

You can get a step ahead of them by growing certain plants that repel them (in ideal locations). I’ve listed a few recommendations below along with a section of tips for getting rid of them (including recipes for a spray which can be used to help keep these pesky fellows at bay).

There are other insects also commonly referred to as potato bugs, I added those at the bottom with reference links for more information on them.

How To Spot An Infestation: If you find leaves have holes or are damaged, check underneath and look for larvae or eggs, they can be a yellow cluster of eggs or larvae with orange and black. If you spot them simply remove the infested part and destroy.

A good resource for pictures of the eggs, larvae and adult beetle along with more detailed information about this pest can be found here: University of Tennessee (pdf) [1].

Natural Deterrents: These are recommended as being suitable for repelling them, intercrop between potatoes or in the space between rows.

  1. Horseradish
  2. Bush Beans
  3. Catnip: Grow these in pots because it can be invasive…downside is that once the neighborhood cats figure out you’ve got the good stuff growing, you’ll be herding cats (use in more remote areas rather than city or towns).
  4. Cilantro
  5. Coriander
  6. Tansy: Also repels squash bugs.
  7. Marigolds

Getting Rid of Them:

Keep In Mind: The larvae will go underground to pupate and then emerge as adults after 10 days or so, you’ll likely need to continue removal methods until all the adults and larvae have been dealt with.

Homemade Repellent Teas or Infusions: Here are two different recipes you can try, once they’ve cooled pour into spray bottles and apply as needed (for best results spray fresh applications after each rain).

Here are a couple other insects that are commonly mistaken as potato bugs (with resources to check out):