The air flows have prevented the Colorado Potato Beetle from spreading to Finland


<div>This year, the air flows were disadvantageous to the Colorado potato beetle in June, which is when it is most prone to spreading. Based on the monitoring during July it has been possible to ascertain that a wide spreading of the beetle has been avoided. However, the monitoring of the potato plantings has continued. The monitoring has been concentrated to South and North Karelia, which are the areas which the beetle is most likely to spread to.</div>

The weather conditions have been disadvantageous to the spread of the beetle to Finland this summer. The westerly and south-westerly air flows have stopped the beetle from spreading to Finland, even though it has been found in abundance in areas close to Finland in Russia and the Baltic Countries. Strong easterly to southerly air flows would be required for the beetle to be able to spread. The changeable weather in July has also affected the beetles’ activity levels. In cool weather the beetles do not fly easily, but they stay where they are.

Despite the unfavourable weather conditions single beetles may spread with for example traffic. This is why it is worth checking the potato plantings within a couple of hundred metres from the main roads and the railways, ports or border crossings in Southern and Eastern Finland. The risk is higher if the potato field is close to the rest areas of the main roads or the loading areas for freight  traffic.

The main emphasis of the monitoring has been on South and North Karelia but surveys have been carried out on potato fields in all of Southern and Eastern Finland by way of random checks. At the two findings this summer, of which one was in Sipoo and the other in Parikkala, no more beetles have been found. Evira has also received a few reports on findings of Colorado potato beetles, but these have proven to be other insects, such as hemiptera.

Any findings or sightings of Colorado potato beetles have to be reported immediately to the agricultural department of the TE Centre or to Evira’s plant protection unit.

For more information, please contact:
Senior Inspector Olli Elfving, tel. 020 77 25048
Deputy Director Raija Valtonen tel. 020 77 25040
Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, Plant Protection Unit

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