Last week we discussed tomato diseases. Now we’ll cover something just as destructive: insects.

• The Colorado potato beetle feeds exclusively on solanaceous (nightshade and potato family) plants and can be a significant pest of potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Adult beetles have cream and black stripes across the back. Females deposit orange eggs in clusters of 20 to 45 on the underside of leaves. Larvae are crimson in the early instars, with black legs and two rows of black spots on the sides of their body. Large larvae are orange and appear bloated and humpbacked. Pupae are located in the soil. Both adults and larvae feed on foliage and may skeletonize the crop. New adult beetles can fly into gardens so be sure to check plants regularly.

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