Other garden insects such as the potato beetle adult and their larvae will eat the flowers and leaves of your potato plants resulting in stunting and killing off the plant. They will also attack other members of solanaceae family such as tomatoes and peppers. At our farm we plant a companion planting of horseradish at the four corners of our potato plots and encourage the beneficial spined soldier beetle bugs along with other natural predators.
If infestation occurs, you will notice the leaves with a cluster of orange coloured eggs and you can hand pick the larvae and adults off the plant.
The spotted cucumber beetle will also feed off the blossoms, leaves, and fruits off the vine crop and gourd family members and the larvae will eat the plant root. Corn, beans and flowers may also be infected on a worst case scenario but usually noticeable on squash and cucumber varieties. We prefer to use row covers or cloches along with hand picking and trap crops such as a companion planting of dwarf sunflowers that harbors beneficial pollinator predators that will attack the beetle.
The squash bug is noticeable mostly on summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins and may also migrate to other cucurbit crop related varieties. Again you can use row covers or cloches until the plants are blossomed out and look for and destroy shiny dark brown copper coloured egg clusters on the underside of the broad leaf of the plant.
The tomato horn worm are green and white-striped caterpillars that will devour leaves of your tomato plants and sometimes pepper plants. We plant composite flowers and allow the members of the umbelliferae family of flowers and weeds (such as Queen Anne’s Lace) to attract beneficial bracinod wasps that use the horn worm as its host to lay its eggs.
The eggs morph into a larvae after eating the horn worm becoming an adult. Look for signs of excrement on your leaves to find this invader and hand pick off.
The cabbage worm is a green velvety caterpillar which devours the leaves of the brassica family. The white butterfly cabbage looper is responsible for these pests and a suggestion of intercropping will help discourage and interupt their flight pattern.
Cutworms are soil dwelling caterpillars that feed on stems and seedlings of young transplants at the soil level cutting the stem off. They will attack numerous vegetables and flowers especially legumes, lettuce, nightshades and sunflowers. If this occurs use cutworm collars, encourage birds and other natural predators.