Monday, April 26, 2010

Organic pest control

ladybugs are beneficial insects and eat potato beetle eggs, as well as aphids

colorado potato beetle eggs on the underside of a potato leaf

the harmful potato beetle (before we destroyed them)

Our potato crop is doing great, but recently, we found quite a few Colorado potato beetles in various stages on the leaves. Pesticides can be especially concentrated in root vegetables, so it's especially important to grow organic potatoes for our children!
We simply picked the beetles, larvae and eggs off the leaves and squished them. The 3rd graders loved this somewhat gruesome task!

We also collected a few eggs, larvae & adult beetles in a jar to share with the 7th/8th grade science classes. The children are learning to tell the difference between harmful insects and beneficial ones, like ladybugs.