This was a tedious, time-consuming task, but not unpleasant since it wasn't too hot this morning. I noticed curious things about the potato beetles and began to wonder about some things. (I bet gardening has been the impetus for much scientific experimenting throughout the ages.)
It was difficult to knock the baby potato bug larvae in the crevices of the plants with the spoon, so I sometimes resorted to squishing them, turning my thumb and fingers a vivid rust color. Hmmm, could you use potato bug larvae as a dye colorant?
At first I found the larvae to be repugnant, but as I worked the patch I tried to view the babies as their mom, might -- cute, lovable little larvae. It worked, and I actually felt a bit sad drowning them in soapy water, but I also felt very protective of my precious potato plants. If I don't significantly reduce their numbers, they will destroy my crop.
It took several hours to work my small potato patch, and I am sure I will have to do it at least once more to catch the bugs that eluded me. If I were being paid minimum wage to grow these potatoes, I wonder how much per potato the pest control would cost?