Inert dusts: an alternative approach of plant protection against the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata [Say, 1824], Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae)

Luka BATISTIČ, Tanja BOHINC, Aleksander HORVAT, Stanislav TRDAN


In this article, we focused on an alternative approach of plant protection against the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), which is considered the most important pest of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) in the world and also here in Slovenia. We decided to present the use of different inert dusts as a way of controlling the aforementioned pest. We focused on the categorization of powders, the presentation of individual groups of inert dusts and the description of one or more substances belonging to a specific group. In addition to a general presentation and the mode of action of specific inert dusts, we also provided practical examples that show whether the agent/substance has already been used against the Colorado potato beetle. With the aforementioned, we also tried to summarize whether the described substance has the potential to be used in practice or not. We would also like to point out that wood ash and diatomaceous earth are the most promising inert dusts against L. decemlineata. Wood ash is effective against larvae and to a lesser extent also against adults. Diatomaceous earth is also effective in reducing the number of pests on potato plants. Other inert dusts mentioned in scientific literature are probably less effective or have not even been tested or used against this pest yet. Further research, both under laboratory conditions and outdoors, are necessary to definitively determine the effectiveness of this selected inert dusts.


Colorado potato beetle; Leptinotarsa decemlineata; inert dusts; diatomaceous earth; zeolite wood ash; plant based dusts; quartz; alternative approaches of plant protection


Alexander, P., Kitchener, J. A., Briscoe, H. V. A. (1944a). Inert dust insecticides: Part I. Mechanism of action. Annals of Applied Biology, 31(2), 143-149.

Alexander, P., Kitchener, J. A., Briscoe, H. V. A. (1944b). Inert dust insecticides: Part II. The nature of effective dusts. Annals of Applied Biology, 31(2), 150-156.

Alexander, P., Kitchener, J. A., Briscoe, H. V. A. (1944c). Inert dust insecticides: Part III. The effect of dusts on stored products pests other than Calandra granaria. Annals of Applied Biology, 31(2), 156-159.

Alkan, M., Gőkce, A., Kara, K. (2015). Antifeedant activity and growth inhibition effects of some plant extracts against larvae of Colorado potato beetle [Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say (Col:Chrysomelidae)] under laboratory conditions. Turkish Journal of Entomology, 39(4), 345-353.

Balaško, M. K., Mikac, K. M., Bažok, R., Lemic, D. (2020). Modern Techniques in Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) Control and Resistance Management: History Review and Future Perspectives. Insects, 11(9), 581.

Banks, J., Fields, P. (1995). Physical methods for insect control in stored grain ecosystems. Stored-Grain Ecosystems, 11, 353-407.

Becker, K. (2007). Organic Control of Colorado Potato Beetles in Potato Production. Community assistantship program Report 117, Minneapolis: Univeristy of Minnesota, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA): 9 str.

Bohinc, T., Horvat, A., Andrić, G., Pražić Golić, M., Kljajič, P., Trdan, S. (2018). Comparison of three different wood ashes and diatomaceous earth in controlling the maize weevil under laboratory conditions. Journal of Stored Products Research, 79, 1-8.

Bohinc, T., Horvat, A., Andrić, G., Pražić Golić, M., Kljajič, P., Trdan, S. (2020a). Natural versus synthetic zeolites for controlling the maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais) - like Messi versus Ronaldo?. Journal of Stored Products Research, 88, 1-9.

Bohinc, T., Horvat, A., Ocvirk, M., Košir, I. J., Rutnik, K., Trdan, S. (2020b). The First Evidence of the Insecticidal Potential of Plant Powders from Invasive Alien Plants against Rice Weevil under Laboratory Conditions. Applied Science, 10(21), 7828.

Boiteau, G., Singh, R. P., McCarthy, P. C., MacKinley, P. D. (2012). Wood Ash Potential for Colorado Potato Beetle Control. American Journal of Potato Research, 89, 129-135.

CABI. (2022). Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International. Retrieved from

Crossley, M.S., Cohen, Z., Pelissie, B., Rondon, S.I., Alyokhin, A., Chen, Y.H., Hawthorne, D.J., Schoville, S.D. (2022). Ecological and evolutionary factors mitigating Colorado potato beetle adaptation to insecticides. V: Insect Pests of Potato (second edition). Alyokhin, A., Rondon, S.I., Gao, Y.(ur.). Academic Press, p.463-479.

Demissie, G., Tefera, T., Tadesse, A. (2008). Efficacy of Silicosec, filter cake and wood ash against the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on three maize genotypes. Journal of Stored Products Research, 44, 227-231.

Eroglu, N., Emekci, M., Athanassiou, C. G., (2017). Applications of natural zeolites on agriculture and food production. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 97, 3487-3499.

FITO-INFO. (2022). Slovenski informacijski sistem za varstvo rastlin. Ljubljana.. Retrived from

Gökçe, A., Whalon, M.E., Çam, H.I.T., Yanar, Y., Demirta¸s, I.I.M., G˝oren, N. (2007). Contact and residual toxicities of 30 plant extracts to Colorado potato beetle larvae. Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection, 40, 441-450.

Göldel, B., Lemic, D., Bažok R. (2020). Alternatives to Synthetic Insecticides in the Control of the Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say) and Their Environmental Benefits. Agriculture, 10(12), 611.

Golob, P., Webley, D. J. (1980). The use of plants and minerals as traditional protectants of stored products. Report of the Tropical Products Institute, 138(6), 32str.

Golob, P. (1997). Current status and future perspectives for inert dusts for control of stored product insects. Journal of Stored Products Research, 33(1), 69-79.

Haryadi, Y., Syarief, R., Hubeis, M., Herawati, I. (1994). Effect of zeolite on the development of Sitophilus zeamais Motsch, in Stored Products Protection. Proceedings of the Sixth InternationalWorking Conference on Stored-Product Protection, 17–23 April 1994, Canberra, Australia, CAB International, Wallingford, str. 633–634.

Isman, M. B. (2017). Bridging the gap: Moving botanical insecticides from the laboratory to the farm. Industrial Crops and Products, 110, 10-14.

Kljajić, P., Andrić, G., Adamović, M., Bodroza-Solarov, M., Marković, M., Perić, I. (2010). Laboratory assessment of insecticidal effectiveness of natural zeolite and diatomaceous earth formulations against three stored-product beetle pests. Jourbal of Stored Products Research, 46, 1-6.

Korunic, Z. (1998). Review diatomaceous earths, a group of natural insecticides. Journal of Stored Products Research, 34(2/3), 87-97.

Liu, N., Li, Y., Zhang, R. (2012). Invasion of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, in China: Dispersal, occurrence, and economic impact. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 143, 207-217.

Lu, J., Wu, S. (2010). Bioactivity of essential oil from Ailanthus altissima bark against 4 major stored-grain insects. African Journal of Microbiology Research, 4(3), 154-157.

Luckmann W.H., Metcalf, R.L. (1994). The Pest Management Concept. Introduction to Insect Pest Management, 1st ed.,New York, NY: Wiley.

Jean, W.G., Nchiwan, N.E., Dieudonné, N., Christoper, S., Adler, C. (2015). Efficacy of diatomaceous earth and wood ash fort he control of Sitophilus zeamais in stored maize. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies, 3(5), 390-397.

Maceljski, M., Korunić, Z. (1971). Trials of inert dusts in water suspension for controlling stored-product pests. Zaščita Bilja (English translation), 22, 377-387.

Maceljski, M., Korunić, Z. (1972). Contribution to the knowledge of the mechanism of action of inert dusts on insects. Zaščita Bilja (English translation), 23, 49-64.

Mircea, C.N., Chivereanu, R., Croitonu, S., Mirica, S., Istrate, R., Rosca, I. (2015). Laboratory researches on unconventional methods for control of Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata L.). Scientific Papers-Series A, Agronomy. 58, 250-253.

Pavela, R. (2010). Antifeedant activity of plant extracts on Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say. And Spodoptera litloralis Bois. Larvae. Industrial Crops and Products. 32(3), 213-219.

Rojht, H., Horvat, A., Trdan, S. (2010). Local Slovenian quartz sands have low insecticidal activity against rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae [L.], Coleoptera, Curculionidae) adults. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, 8(3&4), 500-505.

Rojht, H., Horvat, A., Trdan, S. (2012). Značilnosti diatomejske zemlje kot naravnega insekticida za zatiranje skladiščnih škodljivcev. Acta agriculturae Slovenica, 99(1), 99-105.

Sablon, L., Dickens, J. C., Haubruge, E., Verheggen, F. J. (2013). Chemical ecology of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), and potential for alternative control methods. Insects, 4, 31-54.

Scott, I.M., Jensen, H., Scott, J.G., Isman, M.B., Arnason, J.T., Philogene, B.J.R. (2003). Botanical insecticides for controlling agricultural pests: piperamides and the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. 54(4), 212-225.

Stanković, S., Kostić, M., Kostić, I., Krnjajić, S. (2020). Practical Approaches to Pest Control: The Use of Natural Compounds. Pests, Weeds and Diseases in Agricultural Crop and Animal Husbandry Production, London, LDN: IntechOpen.

Subramanyam, B., Roseli, R. (2000). Inert Dusts. In: Subramanyam, B., Hagstrum, D.W. (eds) Alternatives to Pesticides in Stored-Product IPM (pp. 321-381). Boston, MA: Springer.

European Commission (2022). Sustainable Use of Pesticides. 2022. Retrieved from:

Wijesinha-Bettoni, R., Mouillé, B. (2019). The contribution of potatoes to global food security, nutrition and healthy diets. American Journal of Potato Researc, 96, 139–149.

Wood ash. (2022). The New Zealand Digital Library. Retrieved from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Luka BATISTIČ, Tanja BOHINC, Aleksander HORVAT, Stanislav TRDAN


Acta agriculturae Slovenica is an Open Access journal published under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY License.


eISSN 1854-1941