The potato bug can rapidly infest your green sanctuary. Control failures usually are attributed to applying insecticides too sparingly, too late. commitment to diversity. Resistance develops more rapidly when that insecticide is used repeatedly as the only control measure. The Potato Program team at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides information on potato production. Sometimes fifth instars molt directly into the pupal stage, by-passing the last two larval instars. Cutworms may also attack exposed tubers through cracks in the soil, leaving shallow feeding holes. “Mulch is any material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering. Good ventilation increases the gas exchange, and dry crops quicker which prevents condensation. When using chemical treatments for wireworm suppression, pesticide applications should be delayed in the spring as long as possible in order for soil temperatures to increase to a point where wireworms are active in the upper soil regions (50o- 60o F). M. Communis has a pale yellow to reddish-brown body, a brown, flattened head, and a scalloped last abdominal segment. The equally small tobacco flea beetle is yellowish-brown with a dark band across the wings. NC State University and NC Melanotus communis. A problem has been this wireworm's development of resistance to chlorinated hydrocarbons and organophosphate insecticides. F. Pupa. Distribution – The tobacco wireworm is common in the southeastern states. Birds feed upon adults and larvae while predatory bugs attack eggs and larvae. Early in the season around planting, wireworms may drill into seed tubers or seed-pieces thereby weakening them. This feeding damage does not affect seed production as seed vigor is not diminished, but does cause culling for the fresh market. The preplant use of fumigants for nematode control will also provide some control of this soil inhabitant. Diatomaceous earth is sand taken from deep within the earth consisting of fossilized algae. Rather, they hiss using their rear limbs and their midsection. REC, Western Maryland The potato leafhopper has wings that are transparent green and are folded back when at rest. In fields where high cutworm populations are expected, a broadcast incorporated insecticide may be worked into the soil prior to planting. Five to 10 days later, a new generation of beetles emerge. First instars bore into stems but also feed on the foliage. Under some circumstances larvae move from foliage to the tubers; dropping to the soil where they bore into and on the surface of tubers. Overwintering beetles are attracted to fields over a period of several weeks; in the early season adults do not fly, but must walk to the nearest food source. Tobacco flea beetle, Epitrix hirtipennis (Melsheimer), Chrysomelidae, COLEOPTERA. There are many different species of flea beetles that will attack solanaceous crops. Traps consist of soaking untreated wheat and corn seed in water for 24 hrs and burying the seed mixture 4-6 inches deep in the soil in the fall or early spring. Spreading a little amount around your crops should do the trick and shouldn’t cost you more than $10. Preventive measures usually are effective in controlling the potato tuberworm. Life History – The southern mole cricket overwinters as a nymph or adult, migrating downward in the soil during cold weather. Adult – Because many species of leafhoppers look alike, entomologists studying these insects must rely heavily on examination of internal genital structures, as well as external characters, to distinguish various species. For potato, the major damage is later in the season when tubers are maturing after bulking. A threshold for sweep net counts is when there is more than one adult per sweep. Once mature, larvae drop to the ground and pupate in the soil. In Maryland the second generation of moths may lay eggs before harvest, but the resulting larvae will not reach maturity due to termination of the potato crop as it becomes senescent. Larvae hatch and feed on roots of corn, tobacco, potato and other plants. Are you growing potatoes on large scale? Cultural methods are primary sources of defense against flea beetle infestations. This makes your work easier as methods of removing them are narrowed to: Neem oil may be used as a natural pesticide as it has an insect-repelling chemical called  Azadirachtin. Injury starts with a yellowing along leaflet margins with a slight rolling. By tunneling, mole crickets injure tobacco seedlings, garden vegetables, peanuts, strawberries, and grasses. M. communis adults emerge about 18 days later and feed on pollen before hibernating in protected areas. When infestations are heavy, aphid damage can reduce plant vigor, size and yield. It is used to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, and make the garden bed look more attractive. Wireworm (and white grub) damage is almost always spotty, with only some areas of the field containing damaging levels. These masses may contain 50 to 300 eggs apiece. This is not an exhaustive list of materials labeled on potatoes in Maine; this is a list of recommended chemicals. Timing of sprays is critical for control. Young larvae are deep red with blackheads; older larvae are pink to salmon with blackheads. However, due to the size of this species, the holes are noticeably larger and deeper than those of other species. Egg – The spherical egg is smooth and translucent white with an average diameter of 0.5 mm. Give them the chance to flee instead of attacking you. The first application should be made when 30% of eggs hatch. Heavily tunneled soil dries out quickly causing further stress to plants. Eggs are laid in soil near the base of plants and hatch in about one week. Distribution – This wireworm species can be found throughout the United States, but is particularly common in the mid-western and southeastern states. Management. Host Plants – Colorado potato beetles infest a wide variety of plants including tomato, potato, eggplant, pepper, tobacco, ground cherry, nightshade, and other solanaceous plants. Growing a new crop often means dealing with a different pest complex. Blister beetles often appear suddenly and may cause much damage before they are detected. Management. Second and third instars enter potato stems by tunneling through the leaf axil at the node and the remainder of larval development takes place in the potato stem. Active larvae hatch from the eggs 11⁄2 to 3 weeks later and search for grasshopper egg cases.

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