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Old May 2, 2018   #1
nickel plate
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Default What is/are eating the leaves?

Planted 4/3/18 with buried elongated sprouts here in Calif.
Photo today-5/2/18
No snail/slug trails, no visible flyers, POSSIBLY earwigs but no day or night proof. We do have very limited colonies of red ants but none in the garden this year, again no visible day or night proof but in past years they day and night prefer the sweet veggies-squash blossoms, etc. any idea what is eating the leaf attack and how to prevent it?
Sixty plus plants.
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Old May 2, 2018   #2
ginger2778
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Caterpillars. Spray with BT.
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Old May 3, 2018   #3
brownrexx
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Probably Colorado Potato Beetles. The adults as well as the larvae will eat the leaves. Spinosad works on the larvae if you get them when they are young enough. It does not kill the adults.

I grow potatoes and I handpick (smash them) the larvae daily. It only take me about 15 minutes a day to do my 3 rows of potatoes.

Look under the leaves for the distinctive clusters of bright yellow eggs.

Last edited by brownrexx; May 3, 2018 at 09:48 AM.
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Old May 3, 2018   #4
nickel plate
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No caterpillars, no Colorado potato beetles, no clusters of bright yellow eggs.
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Old May 3, 2018   #5
ginger2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickel plate View Post
No caterpillars, no Colorado potato beetles, no clusters of bright yellow eggs.
They hide during daylight
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Old May 5, 2018   #6
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That's probably not CPB. They are a lot more destructive than what those leaves look like, and you should see larvae or eggs under the leaves if it is them. It probably is a more minor pest like tortoise beetles.

It also probably isn't anything to worry about unless the plants are being consumed at a high percentage. Most people worry about catching and destroying every last little pest, without realizing that potato plants can often lose 30-40% of their foliage with about zero loss of yield.
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Old May 5, 2018   #7
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And I nominate, drum roll;

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&....0.rfqz6ZQRVGQ

Do I hear a second on my nomination?

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Old May 10, 2018   #8
nickel plate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanP View Post
That's probably not CPB. They are a lot more destructive than what those leaves look like, and you should see larvae or eggs under the leaves if it is them. It probably is a more minor pest like tortoise beetles.

It also probably isn't anything to worry about unless the plants are being consumed at a high percentage. Most people worry about catching and destroying every last little pest, without realizing that potato plants can often lose 30-40% of their foliage with about zero loss of yield.
Nathan,
I'm taking your advice as the destruction seems to be staying at a minimum and some of the plants are starting to flower.
I'm not a fan of chemical applications in my garden and so far over the years I've been lucky pest wise. Tomato/horn worms have been the most problematic but finding and removing them is fairly easy.
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Old May 10, 2018   #9
dustdevil
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Japanese Beetle will eat leaves down to just veins...will look like a piece of lace if they keep eating the same leaf.
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Old July 28, 2018   #10
oldman
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They'll eat everything if there are enough of them. They didn't show up here til a few weeks ago, but I have plants that are now going to have to regrow all their foliage before I'll have to worry about tomatoes. :-(

The beetles are more numerous, move between plants faster, and are just as voracious. They're also harder to pick off and don't have any predators here. My plants with hornworm damage survived. I'm hoping the beetle damage will resolve itself over time too. But Im not sure all the beetles are gone yet.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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https://porchsidegardening.wordpress...-flea-beetles/Flea bettles? I think that's what is eating mine.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
brownrexx
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Looks like flea beetles to me but my potato leaves always look like that and I still get nice potatoes so I don't worry about it.
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