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What are some diseases and pests that affect potatoes?

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Quick Answer

Diseases like early blight, scab, and tuber rot, as well as pests such as flea beetles and leafhoppers, are common problems that affect potato plants. Pests that harm potato plants include the Colorado potato beetle which feeds on plant leaves and can devastate a crop. While potato plants are typically easy to grow, these common diseases, pests and issues have a negative impact on plant growth.

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Full Answer

Early blight is a type of fungus characterized by the formation of dark brown spots that occur on plant leaves. Early blight is a disease that is common in warm and humid environments; and, infected plants must be removed from the garden. Another disease affecting potato plants is the mosaic virus. Aphids spread this virus, which causes leaves to curl and die. This disease does not typically destroy plants but reduces yields.

With Colorado potato beetles, remove beetles on sight and spray plants with a basil and water mixture to treat infestations. Inspect the underside of leaves for beetle eggs, which are orange in color and in clusters. Slugs damage crops by creating holes in potato tubers. Beer traps are a helpful way to deal with slugs that appear before plants are ready for harvest.

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