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Every summer resident planting potatoes is looking for ways to combat pests that can destroy the crop. Many people turn on those who eat the Colorado potato beetle. A natural enemy will help fight the scourge, without the use of chemicals.
Enemies from America
Attempts by scientists to adapt insects from the continent to the necessary climatic conditions did not lead to a positive result. Bedbugs: podizus and picromerus, could not take root in our area. And seasonal breeding of them is extremely expensive and impractical. Therefore, farmers began to look for possible options for exterminators among birds that live freely in the harsh climatic conditions of Russia.
Natural enemies among our insects
In nature, everything is harmoniously interconnected, some insects feed on others. However, in Russia there are practically no natural enemies of the Colorado potato beetle. But nevertheless, the usual ladybug and lacewing eats them. There are very few of them and the level of assistance in killing the pest is very low. Therefore, all hope is for birds.
Who eats the Colorado potato beetle?
Wild and domestic birds living in the neighborhood of humans often eat beetles and their larvae. The main thing is that breeding them at home is a more environmentally friendly way of exterminating the pest. It does not harm human health and the environment.
Who eats Colorado beetles:
- The most unpretentious birds in growing and the most effective fighters are guinea fowls. Breeding them will not require a lot of effort. They peck insects directly from the bush. And the most important thing is that, unlike the chicken, they do not rake the beds, they do not harm the rest of the plantings in the plots. They have dietary meat. Eggs are laid that are hypoallergenic without causing reactions in children or adults. The Colorado beetle for guinea fowl is a delicacy, like other insects that are found in the area. By teaching them to move freely around the site, you can clear it of many pests.
- The next bird that lives at home is a turkey. He, like guinea fowls, willingly feeds on beetles directly from plants. But growing it is much more difficult. He is often sick, small turkeys are very tender. Therefore, caring for them requires a lot of attention and care. The rest of the turkeys are very organized. They do not rake the beds, they feed on all sorts of insects, being a kind of orderlies of the site.
- Pheasants and partridges are wild birds that are difficult to raise. As for the partridges, they are adapted to the harsh climate. Not very demanding on strict adherence to content rules. They gain weight quickly, their meat is very tasty. The plots will definitely need to be closed. Because pheasants and partridges can easily fly away. And they don't come back. Leaving them for a walk, do not leave them unattended, they trample landings. In addition to the Colorado potato beetle, they perfectly destroy other pests that harm various crops.
- Domestic chickens. Only selective individuals, or those that were previously trained from a young age, can exterminate the pest.
What kind of birds eat the beetle best and are easier to breed? The answer is ambiguous, for each person in different ways. Everything will depend on the gardener himself, his desires and aspirations.
How to train chickens to eat a beetle?
The insect harms potatoes, an important condition for many summer residents is the destruction of bugs without the use of chemicals. I want the harvest to remain clean and not harm health.
It is not always possible to have birds that eat Colorado beetles. Therefore, farmers began to teach domestic chickens to eat insects. To do this, starting from 3 weeks of age, chopped tops or grated root vegetables were mixed into ordinary food, so that the kids get used to the smell of potatoes.
After the chickens were fed with this food for 7-14 days, insects were added. At the same time, the beetles are crushed, and the larvae are left intact. Those birds that feed on pests, from a young age, get used to their taste and smell.
Free range of birds
If a summer resident starts guinea fowls or turkey poults on his site, then you can release them to graze freely from the age of 3 months. Do not be afraid that they will harm the site, they peck insects and do not tear the ground at the same time.
It is imperative to clip the wings, because these birds are capable of flying.
An important condition according to which these birds are kept everywhere in Russia on farm plots and personal lands is their adaptability to harsh weather conditions.
Growing potatoes involves constant pest control. Every gardener wants to add as few chemicals as possible. Many, worried about their own health, are looking for ways to solve this problem. Raising a house of birds that feed on insects is a great way out of the situation.