Colorado beetle sightings needed urgently

29.7.2011

<p>Colorado beetles have so far been found in 13 potato fields. The first infestation of new adults emerged from underground was sighted on Wednesday. There were a total of about 300 adult beetles within a small area.</p>

Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira received news on 27 July of new occurrences of Colorado beetles in Porvoo and Loppi. So far individual Colorado beetle findings have been made in Nousiainen, Joutsa, Somero, Nummi-Pusula, Tarvasjoki, Aura and Loppi. Two occurrences have been found in Sysmä, Kouvola and Porvoo. Evira and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment also have inspectors surveying potato crops near the sites of the findings for further occurrences of the beetle.

The first sighting of second-generation adult beetles was made on Wednesday. The eradication of the infestation of some 300 adults was successful. Hot weather considerably accelerates the development of the pupae. It is expected that adults of the new generation will soon be found also elsewhere.

Beetle sightings and eradicant action are of great urgency at the moment so as to prevent the new adults that survive eradication from wintering after they have fed on potato leaves. It is also possible for the new adults to mate and lay eggs at this stage.

Both larvae infestations and adult beetles may occur in the crop. There may also be plants of which all the leaves have been eaten, but without any larvae or adult beetles. This indicates that the larvae have burrowed underground to pupate. Clusters of eggs can be found at a slightly later stage, if the new adults start to lay eggs.

Evira asks all commercial and subsistence farmers to monitor their potato crops and report any suspicions or sightings, including leafless plants, to Evira's hotline. Click on the link below for instructions for the identification of the Colorado beetle.

Farmers should not try to destroy infestations by themselves, as this will make subsequent eradication action more difficult. The most important thing is to immediately report the sighting and then wait for the inspector to arrive to the site. It is advisable to mark the infestation with e.g. a long stick in a large field section to ensure that it can be easily found again.

Sightings and suspicions shall be reported by telephone to Evira's hotline +358 40 801 4407 (from 9 am till 8 pm, also during weekends).

Further information:
Raija Valtonen, Head of Section, Evira, tel. +358 2077 25040, +358 40 560 2510

Colorado beetle occurrence status (in Finnish)

More information and photos of the Colorado beetle: Evira.fi > Plants > Cultivation and production > Plant pests and diseases > Potatoes > Colorado Beetle

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