Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Answer and an Educational Opportunity

A quick apology if yesterday's mystery photo grossed you out.  It's true -- Colorado potato beetle larvae are pretty darned icky.  But nice work, Leif and Malena.  You know your pests!

Those larvae eventually turn into a full-blown beetle that looks something like the above -- or like this.  These pests are a serious threat: female beetles can lay up to 800 eggs, and both the larvae and the adult beetle feed on the foliage of potato plants, possibly eliminating the entire crop.  There are certain insecticides you can use -- both conventional and organic -- but out here on the farm, we've found the best way to combat the beetles is manually removing them and dunking them in soapy water.  It's time consuming, but luckily we have a lot of willing volunteers with nimble fingers.

Speaking of pest management, Local Food Hub is hosting a workshop on June 10th that can teach you the ins and outs of integrated pest management.  From beetles and moths to pesky weeds, instructors Anthony Flaccavento and Peter Warren (VA Cooperative Extension) will help you manage these pests throughout the season, helping to increase your yield.  Both conventional and organic methods will be discussed. 

Interested?  Email Marisa for more information (marisa [at] localfoodhub.org) and pricing schedule. If you have specific questions or pests you'd like to talk about, please email us ahead of time so we can make sure to have an answer for you!

Hope you'll consider attending!

1 comment:

  1. Now that we have chickens, I like collecting them and feeding these little buggers to them. The beetles tend to remain motionless for quite a long time after you capture them, so they don't have a chance to get away. The chickens love all forms of these critters.