Soldier beetle is 8 to 12 mm long. It is long, slender and flattened. The wing covers are leathery and appear downy. Larvae is dark, flattened and covered with hairs. Both larvae and adults are predators of aphids, cucumber beetles, corn rootworms, grasshopper eggs, caterpillars and beetle larvae. To attract adults, plant goldenrod, milkweed, hydrangeas or catnip. Larvae overwinter in the soil, so keep some permanent plantings for the beetles to have a place to lay their eggs.
The first potatoes were cultivated in Peru about 7,000 years ago.