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How to prevent/ avoid pest & insect attacks on potatoes?

Potato is one of the most highly used vegetables in India. Most Indian cooking calls for potato as an ingredient. Further, we use potatoes on daily basis. At the same time, potato is various parts of Asia and Africa. The main reason for this is climate. However, irrespective of the robust nature of the vegetable it gets attacked by pests.

Read through the article to learn more about pests that attack potatoes. 

Where do potatoes grow?

As mentioned earlier in the article, Potato is grown in various parts of Asia and Africa. Further, the ideal climate to grow potato is a cool temperate region. They need cool nights with well-drained soil. Further, the yield and the growth of a potato plant are better in soil that has good moisture content. However, you cannot grow potatoes in warm climate regions. These crops just cannot tolerate heat and a tropical environment.

Furthermore, today potato is grown in nearly 149 countries. This shows the adaptability of the crop to several climates. It also shows the versatility of the Potato crops. Furthermore, potatoes are nutritious, they offer good quality nutrition at a reasonable price. 

Further, the wide growth of potatoes in various regions has resulted in attacks from pests. There are various pests and insects that attack potato crops. Some of these pests are habitual to the region in which the crop is grown. Hence, the best way to prevent or manage such attacks is the identification of pests. Once the pests are identified correctly, take the necessary steps to eliminate them. Also, for financial help, private organizations like Agrifi can be approached. 

What type of pests or insects attacks potato plants?

As stated earlier in the article, various pests attack the potato plants. The top pests that attack potato crops are listed below.

The first pest to look for when growing potato plants is the potato Tuber moth. These insects look in the caterpillars when grown completely. They are in pink or pale green. These pests attack the crop by digging holes in the terminal shoot of the crop. Potato Tuber Moth feeds on the pupal of the plant. However, it can be prevented to some extent by covering the open tuber of the crop. One can also follow earthing the crop method to manage and prevent infestation. 

The next pest to look out for when growing potatoes is cutworms. They are brownish and become black when fully grown. Further, these pests damage the plant and attack younger plants. The best way to prevent them is to follow good sanitation. Physical destruction of cutworms’ pests also works. In addition to this ensure to follow proper irrigation.

The third type of pest that attacks the potato crop is the Epilachna Beetles. These Beetles are pale brown and they attack the chlorophyll of the leaves. Due to its attack patches are created on the leaves. The best way to prevent them is by picking the pests at an early stage. Or use of organic pesticides can also prevent the attack and reduce its population. 

Jassids are also a type of pests that attack potato crops. Both Nymphs and the adults of the pest attack the crop resulting in adverse effects. These pests feed on the leaves of the crop. They suck all the juices from the leaf leaving it dry and curled. They also affect the yield of the crop. Hence it must be prevented at any cost. Using organic pesticides is the best way to eliminate and manage its population. 

How do prevent or manage pests and insects attacking potato plants?

There are several ways to prevent pests and insects from attacking the Potato crops. However, it is not completely possible to eliminate the pests that attack the crops. You can manage pests and insects attack by taking the proper steps. 

  1. Following good garden culture or cultivating culture. Ensure that the seeds you use to grow plants are healthy. Apart from this follow techniques like crop rotation. The crop rotation technique retains soil fertility and also helps in pests management. Further, the intercropping system is also the best way to prevent frequent or bad pest attacks. It also acts as a natural biological control that prevents pest infestation. 
  2. The important step to be taken is the identification of pests promptly. Once you identify the pest take appropriate measures to manage it and prevent future spreading. In addition to this, it is also necessary to monitor the pest population. Take an educated approach to eliminate the pest population before you lose the crops and money. 
  3. Use different tactics when dealing with pests and insects attacking potatoes. It is because a diverse approach to pest control has higher benefits. Following only one technique like the use of pesticides can prove to be dangerous. Ensure pesticides are used in a controlled manner. Further, use monitoring tools to learn more about the pests. Yellow sticky traps are the best way to attract pests and prevent their growth. Agrifi is one such organization that offers financial help to people willing to grow crops. It also includes digital tracking of payment through its app called Krishakhata. 
  4. The last and the most important step to be taken to prevent pests is analysis the result. Irrespective of all the steps taken to prevent an attack, pests can infest your crops. Hence, it is necessary to monitor and evaluate the steps taken. Check to see if these steps are working in the prevention or not. In case you don’t see good results then re-check your steps and make the necessary adjustments.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, Potato is a widely used vegetable in India. Further, it has also grown in India. Further, potatoes are a robust crop yet they get attacked by pests. Here in the article, we have listed different types of pests that attack the crop. The article also contains information on steps to be taken to prevent such attacks.