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Every summer, all summer residents and those who have their own garden face the same problem: insect infestationdestroying and damaging cultivated crops.
One of these pests of vegetable crops is the potato bug bug, or in another way, epilahnas.
Let's try to figure out what a potato cow is, where can you find it and how to deal with it?
To fight the beetle effective, it is important to know about some stages of its development, periods of greatest activity and plants that are most vulnerable to its attack.
This is a bug 5-7 mm long, in appearance resembling ordinary ladybug, with one difference - there are as many as 28 points on the wings.
The color itself is also not so bright - brown-red or red. An interesting feature is the lightweight whitish coating, which is actually the finest hairs.
Photo of the epilahn and her larvae:
Potato bugs develop at a fast pace: one female can lay off from 250 to 520 eggs... Clutches of 10-20 can be found on the underside of potato leaves or in fallen leaves.
The eggs do not exceed 1 mm in size and are pale yellow in color.
After 3-7 days, the larvae hatch, on the 20th day they pupate and remain in this state for 9 days. It is worth noting that despite the rapid development, the 28-point ladybug reproduces once a year - from May to June.
Background information: the larvae of epilyachnas have a very unusual appearance, resembling caterpillar yellowish-green in color, the entire body of which is covered with black bristles (pictured on the right). They are very soft and completely non-toxic, they are needed rather for movement.
Beetles constantly change their habitat, moving to different plants, and with the onset of cold weather, hiding in shelters. They can winter under dry leaves, plant debris and weeds, and sometimes burrow into the soil.
With the beginning of spring, epilyakhnas leave their wintering places and in May-June enter growing season... By the end of August, adults leave the fields and again seek refuge for the winter.
The 28-point potato ladybug feeds not only on potato shoots, but also on the leaves of other nightshades, for example, tomato... It is also known that beetles love to eat cucumbers, watermelon, pumpkin, soybeans, sunflowers and corn.
The greatest harm to the crop the potato ladybird applies during the development of the larvae and before the departure of young beetles for wintering.
Tuberization occurs at this stage, which entails not only spoilage of already ripe tubers, but also the destruction of those still forming, which significantly reduces the yield.
Increased activity is associated with the desire of beetles to gain strength and stock up on nutrients before winter. Beetles and larvae eat only the soft part of the leaf, leaving the veins.
In general, the applied the damage is slightly less than from the Colorado potato beetle.
In addition to eating leaves, epilahnas carry viruses that are harmless to them, but dangerous for plants.
If you want pests not to be found on your land plot, then you need to know everything about them, including about the fight and preventive measures. Read about who are fruit flies, shrews, bugs, moles, bears, wood lice, ants, mice, nematodes, slugs and how to deal with them in our articles.
Methods and means of struggle in the garden
How to deal with 28 point ladybug in the garden? Consider the most effective methods of dealing with it:
- The most simple measure - place nightshade crops as far and isolated from each other as possible, so as not to attract too many beetles and not create favorable conditions for reproduction (females lay eggs at the same time in several places, and since they choose nightshade for this, such a measure will reduce the area distribution).
- Placing nightshade crops is best in well-cleaned areaswhere dry leaves and other suitable cover are not available.
- Weeds must be completely eliminated. If it was not possible to eradicate them before the breeding season (May-June), then the epilyachnas can lay eggs on the weeds.
- You can spend high hilling plants. Beetles and larvae that fall from the plant will end up under a layer of soil and die.
- Well, and, of course, insecticides.
Chemical processing, in the case of an increased threat of harm, can bring its results, but do not forget that harmwhich they cause to human health.
Thus, if you have your own vegetable garden or several acres in the country where you like to grow potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes or sunflowers, be ready to the summer invasion of small voracious bugs that can, if not destroy, then damage the plants you grow.