Potato Tuberworm Damage – Tips For Controlling Potato Tuberworms

The most common type of potato blight is the potato brown spot or “potato spotted” disease. There are many different types of potato spotted diseases, but they all have one thing in common: They attack the leaves and roots of potatoes.

The leaf spots appear first on the undersides of leaves (the younger leaves) and then spread over them. Eventually, the whole plant dies.

The root spots appear first on the underside of the soil near the base of the plants roots and eventually cover it completely. At this point, the plant will die from lack of water and nutrients.

Symptoms: Leaf spots: First appears as small white dots at edges of leaves, usually on young leaves. Leaves may turn yellowish-brown or even black with age.

Stems may wilt and fall off prematurely if not controlled early enough. Root spots: Appears as dark brown patches on the soil surface and along the trunk. The spots may grow outwards from the center of the tree and extend up into the ground. If left unchecked, these spots will kill trees because they consume all available nutrients in their path. Symptoms:

In some cases, there are no symptoms at all until after several years of infection. These are called dormant periods when there is little damage done to the plant itself.

After several years, however, the damage becomes progressively worse until it is obvious that something is wrong.

The best way to prevent this disease is through crop rotation and planting resistant varieties. If either method is followed strictly, then the chances of getting the spotted strain are fairly low.

However, crop rotation only works if you don’t store potatoes in unsprayed soil. Uncleared land may have infected potatoes that can last for several years without rotting.

Sources & references used in this article:

Potato Tuberworm Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller)(Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) by HK Gill, G Chahil, G Goyal, AK Gill… – EDIS IFAS Extension …, 2014 – researchgate.net

Comparison of insecticide resistance in a North American field population and a laboratory colony of potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) by M Doğramacı, WM Tingey – Journal of Pest Science, 2008 – Springer

Resistance of Solanum berthaultiiFoliage to Potato Tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) by R Malakar, WM Tingey – Journal of Economic Entomology, 1999 – academic.oup.com

The potato tuberworm: a literature review of its biology, ecology, and control by SI Rondon – American Journal of Potato Research, 2010 – Springer

A survey of potato growers in Bangladesh: production and challenges by SO Nasif, MNH Sani, MS Islam… – Research in …, 2018 – banglajol.info

Marking potato tuberworm (Lepidoptera: Gelecheiidae) with rubidium for dispersal studies by M Coll, SJ Fleischer, D Rosen – Journal of economic …, 1997 – academic.oup.com

Pesticide susceptibility of potato tuberworm in the Pacific Northwest by CH Dobie – 2010 – Citeseer

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