Date of this Version
Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 35, Issue 6, 1 December 1942
In the potato-growing section of the North Platte Valley of western Nebraska, the difficulty of producing high quality potatoes frequently is greatly increased by the presence of destructive populations of the potato flea beetle Epitrix cucumeris Harris. Csually foliage injury by the adults is comparatively unimportant, but larval injury to tubers often greatly reduces the quality of the crop. Since prevention of tuber injury by the larvae has extended downward from the sides of the cages. Unless food was available in the form of plant growth within the cages, either green potato foliage or cut tubers were supplied as long as any of the beetles remained active in the fall. When emergence began the succeeding spring (1941), all active beetles were counted and removed at regular intervals. Collections in an alfalfa field and along an irrigation ditch using a 15-inch insect sweeping net, proven to be difficult, a study of this problem has been undertaken by the Department of Entomology. This paper is a report on the life history and habits of the potato flea beetle, particularly as related to control in western Nebraska.