Holes in Sweet Potato (Causes + Is It Safe to Eat?)

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The flavor of sweet potatoes is generally well liked by most people. They are versatile enough to serve either as a side dish or as a whole dinner, particularly when tasty toppings are added. On the other hand, sweet potatoes might sometimes have a few problems, which can discourage some individuals from utilizing them. The most typical of these defects is a hole or holes in the skin of the sweet potatoes. If you are curious about the reason why sweet potatoes have holes in them, here is a simple explanation:

There are several potential causes for holes in sweet potatoes. Nonetheless, wireworms are by far the most prevalent cause of this condition. These holes were made in the sweet potatoes growing on the ground by worms that tunneled into the tubers. Nevertheless, they are often only found in shallow waters and do not inhabit the potatoes themselves. As a result, you may continue to consume them provided that you cut these holes in them.

These voids are seen as troublesome by some individuals, and in certain instances, that perception is warranted. Nevertheless, before you go and toss away your sweet potatoes, there are some more things to think about. The fact that you can continue to enjoy the potatoes at some time is going to be a topic that we cover today.

In this piece, we will provide you with all the information you want about the holes that are found in sweet potatoes. In this section, you will discover what causes potatoes to develop holes, as well as whether or not potatoes with holes may still be eaten.

Let’s not waste any more time and get right in, shall we?

What’s the deal with the holes in my sweet potato?

The presence of holes in your sweet potato almost certainly indicates the presence of wireworms. Potatoes often have holes in them because of wireworms, which are the larval stage of click beetles. Their tunnels create a hole in the potato tuber as they pass through it.

This invasive species may be managed using a number of different approaches, including as crop rotation, insecticides, traps, and predatory nematodes. Holes in sweet potatoes may also be caused by illnesses that affect the hollow heart and by white grubs.

When sweet potatoes are harvested, there is a good chance that the crop may have holes in it. If the farmer is unable to find a solution to this issue in the early stages, it may have a detrimental impact on the whole harvest.

Wireworms are the most common culprit when it comes to causing holes in sweet potatoes. This kind of worm will often target root crops, and if it does, any sweet potatoes that are harmed will need to be thrown away and cannot be sold.

There is a chance that some of these sweet potatoes will go past inspection, in which case you may purchase them anyhow. You are free to chop away the damaged bits of the sweet potato and preserve the ones that are in excellent shape as long as the holes are not wet and do not extend too deeply into the flesh of the vegetable.

Is it okay to eat sweet potatoes with holes in them?

It is possible to consume sweet potatoes even if they have been pierced. If you choose to eat potatoes with their skins on, you are free to do so at any time. On the other hand, you should check to see if the potato has no more than a few holes in the inside.

If the item is riddled with holes, it is best to toss it out for your own protection. Even if there is a good chance that the sweet potato has not gone bad, preparing it would be a waste of time since it has a terrible flavor.

Can you eat wireworm-infested sweet potatoes?

You are welcome to consume sweet potatoes even if they have wireworm holes in them. Having said that, you will only be able to do so so long as the holes have no moisture in them.

When exposed to warm temperatures, sweet potatoes will begin to develop little holes. Because of this, many have a tendency to refer to these potatoes as spongy; nevertheless, the right word is pithy.

After being cooked, the sweet potatoes need to be stored in the refrigerator for optimal freshness. This is most likely due to the fact that wireworms are the source of the holes in the potatoes. You are still able to ingest it provided that the holes are not wet.

Is it okay to eat sweet potatoes with holes?

Even when pierced, sweet potatoes may often still be consumed without incident. It’s possible that people have the wrong idea about whether or not you should eat the holes in sweet potatoes. On the other hand, this is not always the case. Even sweet potatoes with spots on them aren’t always unhealthy for you to eat.

It’s possible that you’ve been led to believe that sweet potatoes with holes in them are unhealthy because they harbor insects and worms. On the other hand, you can be certain that the potatoes you purchase do not contain any worms since they have been treated. There are still worms living in the dirt.

What should you do with a sweet potato that has holes in it?

If your sweet potatoes are pockmarked, you should always check to see whether it is still okay to consume them.

Worms and other pests will often make holes in sweet potatoes once they have made their way into your kitchen. During the time of harvest, they invade the crop for a brief period of time before leaving again after a while. Despite this, the holes that they make in the sweet potatoes continue to be there.

Hence, if you have sweet potatoes in your kitchen that have holes and you do not want to throw them away just because they have holes, you will need to check to see whether they are infected with worms. Worms are a sign that sweet potatoes have been spoiled.

There is a very low risk of contracting any of these illnesses by eating sweet potatoes; nonetheless, there have been isolated instances of contamination. Hence, as you are peeling the sweet potato, you need to keep an eye out for any insects or worms, and if you don’t find anything suspicious, you should be okay to proceed with the recipe.

If there are any parts that don’t seem to fit together properly, you should remove them before continuing with the remainder of the steps. Having said that, this does not imply that you should dispose of the whole item.

How can you tell whether a sweet potato is beyond its prime?

When a sweet potato has gone rotten, you will be able to tell because it will become mushy. Before becoming brown or black, the edges of the sweet potatoes will often become pliable first.

The rapid deterioration of these components very certainly will have an adverse impact on the taste. In addition to this, the outer surface of the tubers may often exhibit the appearance of wrinkles.

Commonly Asked Questions

Sweet potato with little holes

Even if there are a few holes in your sweet potato, you are free to continue eating it. If these holes are dry, you should be able to handle this potato just like a normal one and use it in the same ways. It is not possible for worms to go into the potato and live there for the remainder of its life. It is also not believed that these worms are capable of passing infections on to people.

Sweet potato with black holes

Even if there are a few little black holes in your sweet potatoes, you are still able to consume them. Bruising, oxidation, or chemical reactions brought on by cooking may all lead to the formation of black holes. But, sweet potatoes that have deep black pits are a warning that they have gone bad, and you should not eat them.

In many cases, the potato was damaged while it was being harvested or stored, which enabled bacterial or mold spores to infiltrate the potato. Before being cooked, these areas, which seem to be dark or even black from the outside, need to be removed and trimmed away.

Sweet potato with white holes

Do not be alarmed if your sweet potato seems to have white holes in its flesh; this is quite natural. The white holes in sweet potatoes are caused by liquid starch, and it is possible for this defect to appear in any sweet potato without having any negative consequences. Hence, even if you discover such things in your sweet potatoes, you may still prepare them normally.


There are a few different explanations for why sweet potatoes could have holes in them. In most cases, the problem is caused by wireworms. Worms that burrow through sweet potatoes are responsible for these holes that have appeared in the earth. But, they aren’t very deep, and you won’t find them living within potatoes. Hence, provided that these holes have been removed, they are fit for consumption.

Some individuals see the existence of these gaps to be worrisome, and in certain instances, this is indeed the case. But you shouldn’t just toss out your sweet potatoes without thinking about a few other things first. After reading this post, perhaps you now know that you can still use these sweet potatoes at a later time, and if not, I hope you gained that information.

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Can you eat sweet potatoes that have holes?

It is time to throw your sweet potato if it is leaking, mushy and squishy, discolored, has an unpleasant odor, or has a number of sprouts growing on it. If there are just a few sprouts and the sweet potato is still solid, you have the option of either planting the sprouted section or cutting it off, cooking it, and eating it right away.

Is it OK to eat potatoes with holes?

Even potatoes with a hollow heart are still edible and safe to eat, provided that the splitting has not reached the surface of the potato, since this would make it more susceptible to rotting. In the event that you find yourself in possession of potatoes with hollow hearts, you may simply chop off the hollow section and consume the remaining potato.

What makes holes in sweet potatoes?

The larvae of the cucumber beetle eat tiny, round holes through the skin of sweet potato roots. Just below the epidermis, they produce irregularly shaped, larger cavities. The larvae seldom burrow into the roots of the plant, unlike the larvae of the elongate flea beetle and the striped flea beetle.

What are small black holes in sweet potatoes?

What it is: Cells that have died or are in the process of dying, also known as “internal necrosis.” The cause of this problem, which affects a popular type of sweet potato, is still a mystery to the scientific community. Consume or discard: Remove the damaged tissue from the body. The remainder of the sweet potato may still be eaten without any problems.

How can I tell if a sweet potato is bad?

It is a sign that the sweet potatoes have gone rotten when they start to get mushy or squishy. The sweet potatoes, on the other hand, transformed into a dark brown almost black color. The same thing happened to them. Investigate the existence of mold as well as any strange growths that appear on the skin. If there is a foul smell coming from the sweet potatoes, they should be thrown away as soon as possible.

What is eating holes in my potatoes?

The majority of the time, the damage appears as small to deep holes in the potatoes. These holes are formed by wireworms tunneling into the tuber while they are eating. Wireworms may tunnel to depths of up to 0.1 inch in either a perpendicular or diagonal direction, but they do not burrow all the way through the tuber.

When should a potato not be eaten?

Since potatoes are composed of 80 percent water, softness is often only a symptom that the potato is dehydrated. Do not proceed, however, if they are very soft or have shrunken much. A vegetable peeler or a knife may be used instead of a vegetable peeler to remove tiny sprouts. If the sprouts are particularly long or big, it’s a warning that the potato is likely beyond its prime and should be thrown away.

Can you eat potatoes with eyelets?

As all that is required of them is a dark and damp environment, your kitchen or pantry is an excellent spot to begin cultivating “eyes.” Once you have boiled the potatoes and removed the sprouts, you may still eat the potatoes if they are still firm when you squeeze them. This is provided, of course, that the sprouts have been removed.

Are sweet potato bugs poisonous?

They are not toxic in any way, and the worst thing that can happen to you from these creatures is that they will bite you when they feel threatened. Potato bugs do let out an offensive odor when they feel threatened, which discourages potential predators; nevertheless, the only thing you need to be concerned about with these guys is their teeth.

Why do sweet potatoes bleed?

You are looking at liquid starch at this point. As you sliced into the sweet potato, you could have even observed that it leaked a liquid starch that was white in color. This is completely natural, and the sweet potatoes are not the only source of the liquid starch; it is a combination of sugar and starch that may be found in other foods as well. It’s possible that you’ll notice it again when you cut into the squash.