We Like Our Potatoes Mashed, Roasted, and Pest-Free

Anyone who grows potatoes loves them, so why not celebrate them? National Potato Day falls every year on August 19th; that’s right, there’s a day devoted to our tuberous friends. Some of us like ‘em mashed, others prefer roasted, but we all want them to be pest-free in the garden. So be on the lookout for some of these common critters that love potato crops.

The Pest Bible

Before we get started, if you don’t have it already, I recommend the book, The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook: Identify and Solve Common Pest Problems on Edible Plants by Susan Mulvihill. No gardener should be without this resource; beyond potato problems, you’ll learn about every pest in the universe, the food crops they go after, and how to handle them.

Potato pests

Potato Pests

Growing potatoes is super rewarding because the yields are usually very high and are always delicious! They do well in the ground or in buckets, and there are so many varieties out there to please every palette.

But if you don’t regularly observe them in the garden, you risk losing them to pests or diseases.

Potato pests

If you see skeletonized leaf damage

You might have a beet armyworm problem


If you see chewed flowers or leaves

You might have a blister beetle problem


If you see wilting plants and irregular holes in the leaves and flowers

You might have a cucumber beetle problem


If you see irregular holes in the leaves

You might have an earwig problem


If you see tiny holes in the leaves and stems, stunted growth, or scars on the tubers

You might have a flea beetle problem


If you see white blotches on the leaves, wilting leaves or plants, or brown foliage

You might have a Harlequin bug problem


If you see yellowed leaves or stunted, deformed growth

You might have a leafhopper problem


If you see squiggly lines, blotchy areas, or clear patches on leaves

You might have a leafminer problem


If you see discoloration of stems, leaves, and flowers or distorted plant growth

You might have a Lygus bug problem


If you see yellow or stunted leaves, honeydew, or a cloud of small flies when you shake the plant

You might have a whitefly problem

Again, do yourself a favor and check out Susan Mulvihill’s book to find out how to naturally control the above pests and diagnose more common garden problems.

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.