Government of New Brunswick

Insect pests reduce yields and spread virus diseases by feeding on the plants and tubers. It has been estimated that without controls, approximately 30% of the crop would be lost every year and that with controls, less than 3% of the crop is lost to insects.

Insect control is part of a sound potato management program. To obtain the most economical control, the treatment must be applied at the most appropriate time of plant and insect development. This is the time during the life of the insect pest when it is most easily killed. It is also around the blooming period when the plant can least compensate for the damage caused.

Insect numbers can be greatly reduced by combining good cultural and chemical practices with those free controls (lady beetles, birds, etc.) found in nature. Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides that also kill natural enemies of pests.

Intelligent pest management is the selection and use of pest-control actions (tactics) that will ensure favorable economic, ecological, and sociological consequences. This is accomplished by the use of multiple tactics in a compatible manner to maintain pest damage below the economic injury level while providing protection against hazards to humans, animals, plants, and the environment.

No one insecticide controls all potato insects, thus it is necessary to IDENTIFY the insect species in the field, know its vulnerable stage and apply the PROPER INSECTICIDE at the PROPER TIME and at the PROPER RATE.

For effective control, the amount of insecticide intended for one hectare must be applied to one hectare. There is a mistaken idea that increasing the dose of an insecticide increases the efficacy. Furthermore, applying more insecticide or less insecticide than recommended may allow the insect populations to develop resistance to the insecticide.

Manufacturers label their insecticides clearly, showing their purpose and use. Only when used as instructed can insecticides control insects effectively without damage to the crop and with minimum damage to the environment.