I am not sure how these little pesky beetles know just where to find a feast but they have found it in our potato plants! This is truly going to be a war of the wills…and hopefully I will win.

In my quest to not use any pesticides this will truly be a battle of the all-natural and I am not sure which of my plans will work but I am going to go through my list this year until I find a way to conquer them.

My first plan of attack was to plant a marigold at the base of every potato plant in our garden before nematodes find them as well.

After a frantic call to my Dad he suggested I put baking soda in a shaker can and cover each bug with baking soda, he says they will melt before your eyes. It has been raining the last couple days so I have not been able to try that but I have my shaker can all ready and waiting for the rain to stop.

My next step will be to heavily mulch around my plants so the beetles have trouble finding the plants. The mulch encourages the beetle’s natural predators, including ground beetles, which feed on larvae, and lady beetles and lacewings, which feed on eggs and larvae.

In my research trying to find complementing plants I came across this great companion planting guide. It is well worth printing off and saving but for the mean time I will be spending every extra minute I have hand picking and squishing every little striped bug I find!

http://www.tucsonorganicgardeners.org/Assets/PlantsAsDeterrents.pdf