How to Kill Golden Tortoise Beetles Safely and Organically

How to kill golden tortoise beetles naturally
How to kill golden tortoise beetles naturally

Target: Morning glory vines

Target: Sweet potato patches

If you are trying to avoid using man-made chemical pesticides in your garden to kill golden tortoise beetles and other leaf-eating pests, there is a natural, non-toxic insecticide product you can use to get rid of them, all the while being harmless to bees, birds, and other pollinators. This is important if you grow fruits or vegetables in your garden or if you are environmentally- or health-conscious.

Although golden tortoise beetles are perhaps the most attractive insect in the garden next to butterflies, they are also incredibly destructive for people who like to keep morning glory vine displays or grow sweet potatoes.

These beetles munch holes through the leaves of both plants, ruining their ornamental value. There is a naively held belief that the beetles will only attack morning glory and sweet potato vines. But if a gardener yanks down their morning glory vines to control the infestation, he or she will soon be disappointed to find that these bugs will jump to other greens, eating through the leaves of such plants as zinnias and mallow. That's because the bugs still need to eat no matter what, and there are plenty of palatable leaves in the common garden for these little pests.

Neem for golden tortoise beetles
Neem for golden tortoise beetles

The Problem with Man-made Pesticides

Although commercial chemical pesticides are an instant cure, they also might hurt bees and your family through exposure to sprayed plant life, or through eating produce raised in the garden. Commercial pesticides in the water table also can be a cause for concern.

Man-made pesticides generally work through smothering the bugs with neurotoxins. There is also debate over whether man-made pesticides are causing colony collapse disorder in bees. Bees are the gardener's best friend, so it is ideal for us to look out for them as well.

Long-term exposure to chemical pesticides might hurt humans. For example, studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Harvard University detail increased risks of Parkinson's disease, depression, lower sperm counts in men, as well as increased risk of cancers.

So What is the Safe Solution?

To keep the golden tortoise beetle from treating your garden like a salad buffet, and to keep you and your family safe from chemicals, the best, most organic solution is Neem Pro. Neem Pro works against most bugs that eat or suck at the leaves in your garden because it is 100% neem oil. It will not hurt honeybees, earthworms, ladybugs, or adult butterflies.

Neem oil is made from the leaves and shoots of the ancient neem tree (Azadirachta indica), which is native to India. The leaves and shoots are even eaten safely by people in India, but to leaf-eating insects the oil is an anti-feedant, repellent, and egg-laying deterrent, which protects your plants from damage as the bugs die off.

Neem Pro is generally mixed in a ratio of 2 tablespoons water to 1 tablespoon of dish soap to 1 gallon of water. Neem Pro gives you a lot of product for your money because it is basically a concentrate.

In addition to morning glory vines and sweet potato leaves, you can spray the Neem Pro solution on any flowering plants and edibles in your garden, such as apple trees, peanut plants, and cucumber vines up to the day of harvest.

Application is recommended before sunrise or early morning so the sun does not dry the solution on the leaves immediately.


What is the most bothersome pest in your garden?

  • Deer
  • Golden tortoise beetles
  • Rodents
  • Hornets/wasps
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Neem Pro Application Tips:

  • Place the solution in an unused spray bottle.
  • Shake the bottle of the solution up occasionally as you walk through your garden so the natural neem oil doesn't separate.
  • Apply the solution onto vines and areas where you find clusters of golden tortoise beetles.
  • Spray the solution a few days in a row to be rid of the beetles faster.

With all of the potential health problems associated with man-made pesticides, and with the declining bee population, an organic pesticide such as Neem Pro proves to be an indispensable solution for the natural home garden. You can once again look forward to having hole-free morning glory vines to show off to your neighbors.

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