POTATO BUGS – am I ready for next summer?

? Wouldn’t that be nice!

Is there another simple and inexpensive way to combat those nasty critters? 2019 was a bad year for potato bugs in my garden. The dry weather and sunshine seemed to provide the right weather and I couldn’t keep up with picking them off the plants and spraying them with the rhubarb tonic.

Well, I finally got the garden crop harvested last fall, but then it was raing and wet; far too wet to till the ground. I usually till twice; once not too deep right after I take out the produce and then just when it freezes at night, we do a deeper till to bring up any potato bugs that are hidden in the deeper soil; being on top, they will freeze at night. Of course this usually means less problems with these critters next summer.

So now . . .no till will probably mean lots of bugs next summer. I am wondering if I should plant most of the potatoes at the other farm where the land has been black for a few years.

But as well I want to try something new to keep the potato bugs away.

My niece met a lady who says she never has potato bugs. Into each hole she digs she puts her potato seed and a dried brown bean.(no other color) so I am thinking fava beans are brown and I will see if there is another bean that is also brown.That’s it! That’s all the instruction I got! So I will try it and you can too!

Here are 2 of my recipes that I use each year as well for spraying or sprinkling on the potato plants.


20 large rhubarb leaves

10 quarts water

2 tablespoons dish soap

2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoon cooking oil

Simmer the rhubarb leaves in water for 30 minutes. Strain and throw the leaves away. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Spray liberally on potato plants after you have picked off any bugs. Spray at regular intervals; maybe weekly or by-weekly if they are bad.


Sprinkle bran on the potato plants. The bugs will eat the bran and chock.

If the bugs are winter and not time to grow potatoes, but these are all ways I have worked at & tried to keep the potato bugs away from my patch. I am anxious to try the brown beans next year! Good Luck . . . Winnie