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Blue Sky

Doryphores - Colorado Beetle

Has anybody here sighted any yet this year?

We have been advised by neighbours that they are out and about.

No evidence of them residing here as yet.

Also, can anyone advise of the situation in Northern France. (i.e. do you get many doryphores up there?)

DEFRA information page here

Yes, they're here in north west france. I spent an hour today picking them and their eggs off the potatoes - any other ideas for dealing with them apart from spraying (which I don't fancy doing)?

Blue Sky

Hi Karen, Welcome to downsizer.

So you do have doryphores way up north. I don't suppose that is what the lads and lasses back in Blighty wanted to hear but at least we are all in the know now. By the sound of it they are heavier in the north and working their way down as we still havn't spotted any here yet.

Thanks all the same for the info. We all look forward to reading your future posts. Where exactly "up north" are you situated?



thanks for the welcome.

And of course I read the other 'dory' post after I'd posted!
Guess I'm stuck with picking and squishing. I've planted the linseed - they were free with the potato chits I bought but it's not flowered yet - which I suppose is what is meant to keep them away.
The chicks seem a good idea, I'm just not sure I trust them in the veg patch, the cats are bad enough!
Last year, later on in the summer, a farmer neighbour sprayed for me but they seem early this year, even he was surprised to know we'd got them this week.

Position wise, north west, Rennes is the closest big city (still 1 hour away). We're about 2 to 3 hours south from Caen/ Cherbourg.

Blue Sky

Hi Karen

Sorry, should have noticed your "location" - Mayenne - found it on the map now. Not coastal.

Have you any idea what your neighbour sprayed the spuds with? (i.e. was it biologique?)

Personally, I am on with combating the blackfly on my broad beans at present. They have near finished them off but I gave them a good soaking with soapy water last night. Maybe they will perk up?

Still no sign of Dorys' here

Good luck with yours


do they know how to hitch a ride ?
my spuds look ok for the first time .
we dont have them here (flw)
dont want them .
oi kilroy talk to these beetles Laughing

When the weather gets warm, we always suffer from colorado beetle. One trick is to hold a bowl of water by the potato plant, tap the plant, and the beetles fall in and drown. Bit fiddly, but works ok if you have the time.

You can wander about with a pair of scissors and cut them in half but you have to be nimble as the first tremble of the plant, and they fall to the soil where they think they are safe. I quite like this method though as I can take out my frustration with the doryphores by chopping them in half.

If you spray,with the correct insecticide, and we do, you can mix in some Bordeaux mixture too. It will mark the plants with the typical blue colour so you can see where you have sprayed so you don't overdo it. The Bordeaux mix is ok and will help against other nasties.

Bon chance
Blue Sky

Not so sure about the scissors Carol. Doesn't that make an awful stink? I have crushed a few in the past and the smell wasn't pleasant. I like the bowl of water idea however. At least this way you could save them for further use.

Dpack - Do you have any interesting recipes for Col' Beetle?

Thanks for your input Carol. Much appreciated.

Oh, et Bon Chance vous aussi

Blue Sky

Still no sign of them here yet. (not that I am willing them to arrive - or am I)?

Crying or Very sad

Anyone else?


Fabrice has just come up from the garden at the cabin (where there's running stream water, but no chickens!) and he says we've got them on the potatoes!


I'll have a look in the morning, now where's that packet of linseed seeds.....

I'm in Ille et Vilaine in Brittany and I don't have any (yet!) and this is my 2nd year growing spuds.

With all this good weather they're getting a bit cocky and running about on paths. One was heading towards the tomatoes today so I hope it was lost rather then signs of their next target.

Counting and squishing over the past 3 days numbers are going down (down to 16 from 25 the day before!) but I don't think it's a battle we'll win...just keep on top of.

And we're enjoying our potatoes.
Blue Sky

Still no sign of the little blighters here (pardon the pun).

Our earlies are flowering enthusiastically so no doubt we will be digging soon. Hope that won't attract the beetles.

Oh no they have arrived chez moi! I found 3 of the little beggars. Not having had them before, what exactly to they do to the plant - just chomp it?

Will I find them hiding under the leaves? The ones I saw were on top of the leaves at the top of the plant. I can't really walk up and down my rows of spuds as they are earthed up so makes walking along the furrow difficult and anyway now the foliage is meeting over the tops of the rows.

I would certainly pick off as many as you can reach. Yes, they hide under the foliage and when you go to pick them off they drop to the ground. It is their method of defense. (if I drop to the ground he won't bother looking for me). They lay their eggs in the soil and it is the grub that destroys the crop. They do munch on the leaves but I don't think that causes too much damage. I have heard there is also an organic spray you can use but I haven't tried it myself.

Good luck with your mission

Blue Sky

Whoops, sorry Embarassed

It's not like me to forget.


Oh god, so it's the spuds themselves they are after! I'll have to start having a delve on the ground then. Crying or Very sad Thanks Simon.
Blue Sky

Mandy, no. Don't start digging

I have not made it very clear (as usual Embarassed ) sorry.

The beetles will lay there eggs and the larvae will burrow into the soil awaiting next years crop of spuds which is why crop rotation is important.

By picking the beetles off the spuds now you will discourage them from laying eggs in the first place (i.e. squish them). The larvae overwinter in the soil to emerge next spring. AFAIK you will probably not get many eggs until well into the season but the more you can pick off the better for your spuds.

We got hundreds of them last year but we also still got hundreds of spuds so don't panick. It was never my intention to turn this into a "bird flu" type scare. Just to point out to folk on the continent that observation is advisable.

*heaves sigh of relief* Thanks for the further info. Actually I wasn't going to start digging them up but have a look at the ground under the spuds for beetles!

This is one of the times where I was being lazy and instead of googling information of the beetle I have just asked the question here. Embarassed

That photo of the larvae that you sent me - it might be a good idea to post it here for anyone reading this thread. I knew what the beetles looked like - they do stand out like sore thumbs - but I had no idea what the larvae looked like. Luckily they should be easy(ish) to spot too, given the colouring.
Blue Sky

Here it is .....

Hi there,

new to this forum, but fresh from France (Centre)

I used the tried and tested pick them off and drop in salt water. Means a bit of work on a daily basis, but does deal with them.

Agree with the rotation. No way you can get all of them before they lay eggs etc..

Still, did get plenty of potatoes anyway.

Now living in Canada, so hopefully there will be no problems with the critters.

Blue Sky

Hi Jerry


Well done with the picking off routine. I'm afraid I get way too bored with such activities - isn't that what children are here for Wink

Fortunately we did not get too many Doryphores on our plot this year. I took all the tops off my maincrop plants yesterday and found a few larvae and even less beetles but the spuds themselves look wonderful (even the red ones).

Hope you settle in Canada OK. I am told that most of the country is "French speaking" now?

Enjoy the forum.

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