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This article was prompted by some concerns about Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB) in commercial and home vegetable gardens. Did you know that the original host plant for CPB was buffalo bur (Solanum rostratum)? Potato really became one of the favorite food plants for CPB much later during the mid-1800s. Anyway, CPB feeds on potatoes, eggplants, pepper, tomatoes and a number of other plants. Life stages of the insect are shown in the pictures below. Reddish caterpillars and the adult beetles are voracious foliage feeders. CPB overwinters as adult in soil just as many other beetles do. Eggs are laid in clusters of 40 or more underside of leaves. The degree day model for CPB is shown in the Table 1. Sample 5 plants from 5 different locations within a large field of crops and look for eggs at the field edges. For adult and larval stages, use a sweep net with 25 sweeps staring especially at the field edges. The fourth instars drop to the ground to pupate meaning control measures have to applied timely when the larvae are small and feeding on the foliage.
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