Colorado potato beetle damages the planting of potatoes and other solanaceous crops. Insect eats shoots, leaves, inflorescences and roots. As a result, plants can not grow normally, and their yield is reduced.
Fragrant tobacco from the Colorado potato beetle is one of the popular methods of combating this pest. Planting this plant allows you to get rid of a large number of insects. The leaves and stems of tobacco attract the pest, however, are detrimental to it.
Description of the Colorado potato beetle
The Colorado potato beetle is one of the most dangerous pests on garden plots. The insect became widespread on the territory of the USSR in the fifties of the twentieth century.
The insect has the form of a beetle up to 12 mm long, rounded with black and yellow coloring of wings. On the head is a dark spot.
The insect spends winter in the ground at a depth of about 20 cm. On sandy soils, the insect can go 30 cm deep, allowing it to survive the winter frost. About 60% of pests tolerate cold in winter.
In spring, these insects crawl to the surface, where the female begins to lay eggs. During the season, up to 800 larvae may appear. Under favorable conditions, they appear within 30 days.Important! The Colorado potato beetle is capable of falling into diapause, which lasts up to three years. This greatly complicates the fight against this insect.
The larva goes through several stages of development, and then goes into the ground. A pupa is formed there, from which an adult individual appears.
Harm from the Colorado potato beetle
The Colorado potato beetle prefers solanaceous crops (eggplants, peppers, tomatoes), however, it is most often found on potatoes. The emergence of larvae occurs during the flowering of potatoes, when the plant is most vulnerable.Important! The larvae can destroy almost half of the flowering tops, which leads to the death of the crop by 30%.
Colorado potato beetle eats ground parts of potatoes, its shoots, stalks and tubers. In search of a food source, insects fly over a distance of several tens of kilometers.
Initially, the pest is not easy to notice, because it lives on the lower leaves of the potato. Over time, the insect reaches the top of the bushes.
Pest prefers young leaves. During the day, the larva eats up to 100 mg of tops. As a result of its activity, only the rough parts of the leaves remain.
Properties of fragrant tobacco and cultivation
Sweet tobacco is a herbaceous plant up to 0.9 m high, with large leaves and small flowers. This variety has a strong aroma, which is enhanced in the evening.
The stems and leaves of fragrant tobacco attract insects, however, they contain poisonous substances. As a result, the pests die.
Sweet tobacco grows on any kind of soil. The exceptions are excessively poor soils that require fertilizer in the form of compost or humus.
When planting this plant, additional feedings are not made, standard fertilizers for potatoes are enough (wood ash, superphosphate, potassium sulphate).
Sweet tobacco grows in the bright sun, however, tolerates penumbra well. Periodically plants require watering.
Sweet tobacco is grown by the seedling method. Planting seeds made two months before planting potatoes. At this point, the plant will reach a height of 20 cm.Important! If you plant tobacco at the same time as the potato, then its shoots will be eaten by the first beetles.
You can start landing in early April. This will require small tanks and light soil. The seeds are placed shallowly in the ground, then the containers are closed with a film or glass. Germination is carried out at a temperature of 20 ° C.
When seedlings appear, the temperature is lowered to 16 C. The seedling of fragrant tobacco requires moderate watering. Before transferring plants to open ground, they should be left in the open air for two weeks.
Landing on the site
Sweet tobacco will attract Colorado beetles from neighboring sites. But the pest larvae prefer other food. Therefore, to get rid of them will have to use other methods. When planting fragrant tobacco in the next year, you can finally get rid of the Colorado potato beetle.
In the first year, fragrant tobacco against the Colorado potato beetle is planted around the perimeter of a potato plantation. Between plants leave up to 1 m. Between the rows with potatoes, tobacco is planted in 10-meter increments.
Plants can be planted in the middle of summer. In this case, the Colorado potato beetle will have time to lay eggs until his death, so the fight against the pest is transferred to the next year. If the number of pests is large, then the landing of the fragrant tobacco is carried out in several stages.
Advantages and disadvantages
The fight against the Colorado potato beetle by planting fragrant tobacco has undoubted advantages:
- high efficiency;
- small expenses;
- low labor intensity (it is enough to plant the plants to get rid of insects);
- unpretentiousness of fragrant tobacco;
- there is no addiction of beetles to plants;
- there is no need to use chemical methods of pest control;
- plants are harmless to humans, animals, bees and other beneficial insects.
When using the method should be aware of its shortcomings:
- tobacco attracts a large number of beetles from all areas;
- for final disposal of pests, it is recommended to repeat the landing for three years;
- fragrant tobacco is effective only against adults.
Other pest control plants
Planting other plants that repel pests helps protect potatoes from the Colorado potato beetle:
- Calendula. Annual which is distinguished by yellow and orange flowers in the form of baskets. Calendula is planted between the rows with potatoes to protect the planting from pests and fungal diseases.
- Mattiola. A plant with fragrant kisteobraznymi inflorescences, which has a straight stem and dark leaves. Mattiola is undemanding to the soil and adapts to different climatic conditions.
- Marigold. These low-growing plants with terry buds protect planting from pests and have the ability to disinfect the soil. For one row of potatoes, 3 marigold shrubs are required. They do not require care and grow on soils of any type. Planting marigolds in open ground is allowed.
- Tansy. Common perennial, which is considered a weed. Ornamental varieties of tansy contain essential oils that are toxic to pests. The sharp smell frightens off the Colorado potato beetle, weevil, onion fly.
- Coriander. Herb with a branchy stem and small flowers, gathered in an umbrella. Coriander is demanding of moisture and prefers soils fertilized with nitrogen and phosphorus.
- Nasturtium. Annual plant with rounded leaves and large flowers of yellow or orange color. Nasturtium prefers moderate intake of moisture and nutrients, it is enough to introduce moisture on the most arid days.
The Colorado potato beetle damages potato plantations; however, it can also appear on eggplants, tomatoes and peppers. Insect destroys the tops and stalks of potatoes and other crops. One of the methods of pest control is planting fragrant tobacco. This plant is unpretentious in care and can grow on any kind of soil.
For final disposal of the Colorado potato beetle is required to carry out the fragrant tobacco annually. Previously at home get seedlings, which are then transferred to the open ground. For best results, fragrant tobacco is planted around the perimeter of the potato plantation and between the rows with bushes.