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Beetle Mepper strikes Colorado potato beetles from potato plants

Growers and machine builders in Biddinghuizen have developed a machine that knocks Colorado potato beetles off potato plants.

Thanks to the use of the beetle swatter, farmers no longer have to use pesticides against the pests. The device is a godsend for organic farmers, but because chemical agents are becoming more and more expensive, the inventors also see a future in conventional agriculture.

The Colorado potato beetle is native to North America and can be a real pest. Because it is getting warmer in the Netherlands, the beetle is becoming more common. Especially the larvae can eat whole fields bare in a short time.

Slap and drown

The beetle swatter is attached to the front of a tractor. The device contains rotating plastic flaps that knock the beetles off the potato plants. The beetles end up via a plate in collecting trays, which are emptied into a larger tray.

Not only the Colorado potato beetle is removed by the swatter. Animals that are useful are also taken. This concerns, for example, ladybugs and spiders. But they crawl or fly out of the tank again, while the Colorado potato beetle remains. The large container is eventually filled with water, causing the beetles to drown.

See how the beetle swatter works here:

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