Overwintered Colorado Potato Beetles found on the south coast – thunderstorm fronts may bring more


<div>The summer’s first Colorado potato beetles were found on the south coast of Uusimaa. Colorado potato beetles were found in the same location in 2006, which means that the beetles found have overwintered on the spot in question. More new findings may be discovered all over Southern and Eastern Finland, as the prevailing east-south-easterly winds during the last few days may have transported beetles from Russia and the Baltic countries. </div>

A plant protection inspector found Colorado potato beetles in a potato field in Sipoo in connection with the current monitoring. Two adult beetles and egg masses around them were found within an area of a few square metres. In all, there were nearly 400 eggs. The beetles and egg masses found on the site were destroyed and the monitoring of the site will continue on the farm during the weeks to come.

Since 1998, there have been over 500 findings of Colorado potato beetles in Finland. These have been destroyed. Thanks to the efficient control the beetles have only managed to overwinter seven times in Finland. The previous overwintered beetle findings were discovered in South and North Karelia in 2004 and 2006.

Colorado potato beetles are found in areas adjacent to Finland in the Baltic countries and Russia, in places even in masses and they are not systematically destroyed in those countries as they are in Finland. When there are large groups of the beetles, they will easily take off to look for food in new areas. With the help of the east-south-easterly air flows of the last few days and the thunderstorm fronts in conjunction with these, beetles may have spread both from the Baltic countries and Russia especially to the south coast and to South and North Karelia all the way up to Kainuu.

Evira is urging all potato growers, also those with small potato plots, to check the potato plantings during the weeks to come especially carefully, in order to find any beetles that may have drifted in. In order to avoid the formation of a permanent beetle population, the authority considers it important that any findings be destroyed. Any findings or suspicions of Colorado potato beetles have to be reported immediately to Evira’s plant protection unit or the TE-centre’s plant protection inspector, who will verify the finding and give instructions for further action.

The Colorado potato beetles use potato leaves as their food source, so when they appear in great numbers they will reduce the size of the potato crop. The beetle does not affect the quality or usability of the potato crop.

For more information, please contact:
Senior Inspector Olli Elfving, tel. +358 20 77 25048
Deputy Director Raija Valtonen, tel. +358 20 77 25040



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