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The cultivation of potatoes is always accompanied by the struggle of gardeners with the invasions of the Colorado potato beetle. Everyone chooses the method of extermination of the leaf beetle pest at his own discretion. The most effective is the use of modern chemicals. But not all summer residents want to use poisonous agents on their site. Firstly, it negatively affects the condition of the soil and plants. Secondly, not every drug is effective enough or requires constant repetition of treatments. Thirdly, the striped beetle does not react to some products after the first spraying, one might say, it quickly adapts.
In nature, everything is harmonious, and therefore there are natural enemies of the Colorado potato beetle. These are insects and birds that feed on the beetles themselves, their eggs and larvae. For those gardeners who prefer a natural way to kill the pest, it is very important to know who eats the Colorado potato beetle. Russian open spaces are poor in such insects - leaf beetle lovers. The only representatives should be called lacewing
But more significant help can be provided by species of domestic and wild birds. After all, a lacewing on the site will do more harm than good if it is diluted to destroy striped beetles and their larvae. And besides, ladybugs and lacewings very rarely eat adult Colorado beetles.
Those summer residents who breed poultry are in a more advantageous position. Natural enemies of the pest from poultry species are:
- Common partridges and pheasants;
- Domestic guinea fowl;
All of them successfully cope with leaf beetles and other pests in vegetable gardens, and at the same time are highly valued for their dietary meat.
Important! Turkeys and guinea fowls must have their flight wings trimmed so that they cannot fly.
Bedbugs, predatory beetles, field mice, toads, moles and lizards are considered natural antagonists of the Colorado. What kind of wild bird eats Colorado beetles? These are cuckoos, hoopoes, crows and starlings.
Who eats the Colorado potato beetle from poultry
To appreciate all the benefits that poultry brings in the fight against the striped beetle, you need to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of each species.
Partridges and pheasants
Summer residents prefer to have gray partridges in order to get rid of leaf beetles, as well as their larvae.
These discreet birds tolerate adverse conditions very well and easily withstand small breeding disturbances. Gain weight easily. Pheasants and gray partridges are biological defenders of vegetable gardens not only against the striped beetle and its larvae, but also against the cabbage white beetle, weevil. It is these representatives of poultry that are widespread in nature and are highly adaptable.
Sometimes gardeners use open walking on the pheasant plot.
Birds love to feast on pests of garden crops, but along the way they can trample plantings. Therefore, do not leave them unattended.
Domestic guinea fowl
Unpretentious, common poultry. Guinea fowls lay hypoallergenic eggs, which are used in baby and diet food. Colorado potato beetle larvae eat directly from plants, without raking the ground. The bird is very hardy, rarely gets sick, mainly due to poor quality feed. Despite their small size, Guinean chickens can handle even a large population of the formidable enemy of the potato. They find adult beetles instantly, and the guinea fowl larvae are a real treat. Gardeners consider guinea fowls to be the natural orderlies of their plots. They feed on many types of insects - pests, which provide invaluable benefits and supply delicious meat to the table. Resistant to weather fluctuations and low temperatures. They can withstand from + 40 ° С to -50 ° С.
They require more attention when growing, demanding on the conditions of detention. With unfavorable factors, it is easy to refuse food. They are more susceptible to diseases and have a complex disposition, they require a special approach.
It is advisable to walk poultry in order to destroy the pest on the site at the beginning of summer. During this period, the leaf beetle larvae are actively developing.
Poultry training method
Chickens begin to actively destroy the Colorado potato beetle after training.
Otherwise, they are indifferent to the larvae and do not peck at them. To achieve a positive result, young animals are taught at the age of 3-4 months. The learning technology is quite simple:
- First, crushed Colorado potato beetle larvae are added to the feed. This is necessary to achieve associative visualization in domestic chickens and other poultry species.
- Then shredded potato tops or grated tubers are added to the usual food so that the chickens get used to the smell.
- One week after the start of training, the dose of supplements is increased.
- As soon as the bird gets used to the larvae and potatoes, you can release the natural exterminators into the garden. They themselves will peck pests from plants.
Important! When choosing a biological way to control the striped beetle on potato ridges, do not use chemicals.
This is necessary to keep the poultry healthy.
How chickens easily cope with a pest after preparation can be seen in the video: