Potato bugs taking over

I'm having a lot more trouble than usual this year with potato bugs. They showed up earlier than usual, and even though I hand-picked them as soon as I saw them, their offspring have now begun to take over my potato patch, which is just starting to bloom.
I've tried spraying the potato leaves with BT, but it doesn't seem to phase them in the slightest.
There are too many to hand-pick, and some are too small to get a grip on anyway.
Any words of wisdom of some alternative methods for getting rid of these critters?
Nyssa, who is having mixed luck with her garden so far this spring
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wrote:

It is a specific strain of Bt (B. thuringiensis ssp. san diego) that's required for control of Colorado Potato Beetle. Other strains will have little or no effect. Even then, the san diego species works best only on newly the hatched.

We mix up a soapy water solution in coffee cans and then equip one or more of our grandchildren with a can of soapy water and a little piece of wood dowel. They go up and down the rows, knocking the adults and larvae into the can where they drown. Also, since the CPB lays its eggs on the underside of the leaves, I made up a short length of wooden dowel with a small mirror attached. With it they can easily scan the underside of the leaves and, when they find those little orange clusters, they squash 'em. OK, it's child labour but, until they realize it's no longer fun, it works ;-). Don't know how much longer this will work.
Ross.
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snipped-for-privacy@forteinc.com wrote:

Thanks for the tip. I had pretty much figured it was going to end up being a labor intensive operation.
Unfortunately I have no junior operators around to snooker into doing the job, so it'll be me out there with a jar of soapy water and a stick....after I finish the lawn mowing, watering, and whatever other jobs need doing more immediately. Assuming I have any energy left after that. lol
Nyssa, who wishes sometimes that her cat could help with the chores instead of creating more work to do
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