Holes In Sweet Potato – What Causes Them?

Mmmm, sweet potatoes, so yummy!

You start preparing this vegetable for your lunch, take the knife… when suddenly – there are holes in sweet potato!!!

What to do? What does that mean? Is it safe to eat or do you need to throw this lovely vegetable away?

Let’s find out!

Why Are There Holes In My Sweet Potato?

Well, bad news. If there are holes inside the sweet potatoes, they are probably caused by wireworms. This is the larval stage of click beetles and they are to blame for those holes.

They make tunnels that leave holes behind. This type of worm usually attacks root crops. During harvest time, the wireworms enter the crop for short time and leave but holes remain. They won’t enter the potato and remain there.

sweet potato harvest

Therefore, sweet potatoes can be affected.

Also, those holes can the caused by hollow heart disease and white grubs.

Usually, farmers need to discard the entire crop, but some of these sweet potatoes may slip through and you buy them.

What About Black Holes?

Black holes are caused by bruising, oxidation or some chemical reactions from cooking. However, if you notice deep black pits, you should discard potatoes, because these pits are signs of rot.

Often, sweet potatoes can be damaged during harvest or storage, which will allow bacteria and mold to enter. These spots are typically black so cut them off before cooking.

What to Do With Sweet Potatoes With Holes?

Well, some said if holes are dry and don’t go deep within the sweet potato, you can cut out that part and keep the good one. But it’s up to you, if you are too disgusted to keep them, don’t.

cooking sweet potato

Can You Eat Sweet Potato With Holes?

It is really up to you, but you can eat them. Make sure there are only a few holes inside your sweet potatoes. When you buy a sweet potato, you can be sure it is no longer infested with wireworms. They remain in the soil.

But to be safe, throw away the sweet potato if there are many holes inside it. Maybe it isn’t spoiled, but this sweet potato will have an awful taste. So there is no point to cook it.

eating sweet potato

Before eating, check if the sweet potato is safe for consumption. Look out while peeling this vegetable and if you didn’t see any worms, sweet potatoes are safe to eat.

How To Tell If Sweet Potato Has Gone Bad?

Once the sweet potato turns mushy, it has gone bad. They become soft before they change their color to brown and black. Also, you can see visible wrinkles on the sweet potato surface.

This vegetable, just like many others, is susceptible to mold. If you notice some patches of its skin or its flesh is fuzzy and discolored, these are signs of mold. This kind of sweet potato is no longer safe to eat.

cutting sweet potato

Finally, there is a foul odor. If the sweet potato smells like it’s rotten, then it is rotten. You’ll easily detect that smell, so discard the sweet potato.

Can Those Sweet Potato Holes Be Prevented?

Of course, there are various methods for controlling and preventing these holes. That includes crop rotation, pesticides, traps and predatory nematodes. But that’s the farmer’s job.

farmer and sweet potato

When it comes to sweet potato harvesting, holes can appear in the crop. If a farmer doesn’t solve this issue in the early stages, that can have a negative impact on the entire crop. Then the farmer should discard sweet potatoes.

How To Store Sweet Potato?

If you have fresh raw sweet potatoes, store them in the pantry, in a cool and dark place.
The hot or warm temperature will make them pithy.

Also, don’t put them in a cold place, low temperatures will make the hard inside. So the sweet spot is a few degrees below room temperature.

sweet potato on cutting board

These fresh raw sweet potatoes will last about two weeks if stored properly.If you dealing with cooked sweet potatoes, they will last about 3 – 5 days in the fridge.

To Wrap It Up

There are several reasons why sweet potatoes have holes inside, but often the wireworms are the most common ones. You can still eat those sweet potatoes at some point and we hope you learned about that in this article.

Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.