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Combating the Colorado potato beetle – The master of adaptability

Anyone who has tried to grow their own tasty potatoes has probably run into the ravages of the dreaded ‘potato bug,’ which often devours your potato vines before your tubers even had a chance! This black and yellow striped adult beetle (and its brick red, hump-backed young) is actually the Colorado potato beetle. It originated in Mexico and was innocuously living on buffalo burr plant in the arid prairies of the Western United States when early settlers introduced a new miracle food to the area — the cultivated potato. There are many reasons that account for the beetle’s continuing success and longevity as a pest, including their perfect synchrony with the potato ecosystem and the lack of natural enemies to keep them in check.  Their greatest achievement, however, has been their uncanny ability to develop immunity to every kind of insecticide that has been used to control them. Full article

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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