How to control "potato bugs" in and near the pool?

Old 01-18-05, 07:46 AM
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How to control "potato bugs" in and near the pool?

Just wondering what the best way to control potato bugs that get into the pool in the summer time?

There are a lot of plants around the pool, so i am wondering if i could spray some type of chemical or is there another option?


Old 01-18-05, 08:05 AM
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The dome-shaped, 3/8-inch adults are yellow with five black stripes on
each wing cover and black spots on the thorax. In late spring, after
hibernating deep in the soil, they fly about actively seeking potato
plants. The females soon begin to lay clusters of bright yellow eggs on
the undersides of the leaves. From these hatch soft-bodied, hump-
backed larvae -- brick-red with two rows of black dots down each side.
These feed ravenously and molt four times while growing to a length of
a half inch or so, then crawl into the soil and pupate. From this resting
stage, a new brood of adults appears and, before the end of summer,
they produce a second generation.

Many insecticides registered for control of this pest are hazardous to bees, so if drift to adjacent flowering crops is a risk, consider a less hazardous alternative. Not all insecticides are available in all areas, so check with your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent for what is available in your area. Eliminating weed hosts around the swimming pool will tend to minimize the number of insects in the area.
Old 01-18-05, 08:18 AM
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Are you talking actual potato bugs or are you thinking about sow or pill bugs. These are the ones that roll up into a ball if disturbed. If it is the later, eliminating moisture such as under heavy mulch will help. Also a granular insecticide could be applied in the plant beds. Good luck, Rick.
Old 01-19-05, 10:21 AM
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This is the problem with common names, and "potato bug" is one of the worst examples. There are at least three insects/arthopods that people commonly call potato bug. There's sow/pill bugs (aka "rollie polies"), Colorado potato beetles and the Jerusalem cricket (a large, alien-looking insect in the western US). There's probably others as well. I'm guessing that that original post refers to sow bugs which are common in high-organic garden soils. These crustaceans (related to crabs and lobsters) feed on organic debris and are harmless. They occasional damage tender shoots and can be a nuisance when present in large numbers. Don't treat with insecticide if you can possibly avoid it. You might try one of the slug baits (check the package for activity against sow bugs). The newer slug baits containing iron phosphate are far less toxic to non-targets like dogs and kids. Again, check the package direction for activity against sow bugs.

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