Colorado beetle now found in the main potato growing area
This summer, Colorado beetles have been detected in an exceptionally wide area. However, the number of findings is not very high and all findings are individual colonies. Occurrences of the beetle have been found in South-West and Southern Finland, as well as in South-East Finland, Häme and Pirkanmaa all the way to South Ostrobothnia. There are a total of more than twenty findings. More detailed information about the findings is available on the Evira website through the link below.
Larval colonies or adult beetles may currently be found in the potato crops. If the beetles cannot be eradicated or they are undetected, adult beetles burrow into the ground to hibernate. In the spring, once the ground starts to warm up after the potato seedlings have started to emerge, the hibernated beetles rise to the crops to eat and reproduce. The number of beetles is rapidly multiplied many hundred fold, and eradication becomes considerably more difficult because new beetle generations will seek new territories nearby.
Eradication of Colorado beetles is carried out or supervised by Evira; farmers should not try to destroy infestations without Evira’s guidance as this will make subsequent eradication action more difficult. Therefore, it is most important to report a sighting immediately and then wait for the inspector to arrive to the site. It is advisable to mark the infestation in the field to ensure that it can be easily found again. Eradication will not affect the use of the potato yield after the safety period related to the handling of pesticides, and the finding will not give rise to restriction on cultivation. The farmer will not have to pay for the eradication, and any other costs are reimbursed according to the Act on Protecting Plant Health.
Evira requests all commercial and subsistence potato growers to monitor their crops and report any suspicions or sightings, including leafless colonies, by telephone to Evira’s hotline. Instructions on identifying the beetles are available on the Evira website through the following link.
Sightings and suspicions shall be reported by telephone to Evira’s hotline: 040 801 4407 (from 9 am till 8 pm, also at weekends).
Raija Valtonen, Head of Control Section, Evira, tel. 02077 25040, 040 560 2510
Atro Virtanen, Senior Inspector, Control Section, Evira, tel. 02077 25047, 040 704 9607
Further information and photos of the Colorado beetle and its current occurrences: http://www.evira.fi/portal/en/plants/cultivation_and_production/plant_pests_and_diseases/quarantine_pests_and_diseases/potatoes/colorado_beetle/