Irish Potato Pests

Matthew J. Blua, Silvia I. Rondon, Andrew Jensen, and Neil Bell
Latest revision: 
March 2023

Includes management options for commercial and home use.

In all cases, follow the instructions on the pesticide label. The PNW Insect Management Handbook has no legal status, whereas the pesticide label is a legal document. Read the product label before making any pesticide applications.

Note: Products are listed in alphabetical order and not in order of preference or superiority of pest control.

In this section

It is essential to consult pesticide labels for rates, timings, safety precautions, plant-back restrictions, etc. prior to making a recommendation or deciding on a treatment program. The following websites offer searchable databases of products, including which pests and crops are on their labels. These web resources allow thorough research on pesticide products prior to making recommendations or treatment decisions.—This is a database of all pesticides registered in Washington and Oregon.

For general information on potato insect pests, see the following.


Special Note about Resistance Management and Secondary Pest Outbreaks

At least three of the important pests of potato are known worldwide for developing resistance to insecticides. Of particular concern are green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), and potato tuberworm (Phthorimaea operculella). To prevent further development of insecticide-resistant pest populations, it is important that growers do not rely on single mode of action through a season. Of particular concern is the class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids (Group 4A in Tables 1-2 of this section ). These are highly effective insecticides that can control many pests of potato all season long. However, resistance to this class of chemicals has developed in Colorado potato beetle in other parts of the U.S., and care must be taken to avoid the development of resistance in the PNW. If used at planting or as a seed treatment, neonicotinoid products should not be used again as a foliar treatment. Always avoid treating large contiguous areas with any single class of chemistry.

Pyrethroid insecticide (Group 3 in Tables 1-2) applications may make pest management more difficult by leading to outbreaks of aphids, thrips, and spider mites.

Note: Products are listed in alphabetical order and not in order of preference or superiority of pest control.