The Colorado beetle hunt continues

16.8.2011

<p>The continuing warm weather favours Colorado beetles. Both adult beetles and larval colonies may appear in potato crops. The newest findings have been reported in areas nearby earlier discoveries. To date, the total number of findings is around thirty, all based on reported sightings by commercial and home farmers. In mappings carried out near the reported sites, a few beetle occurrences were found.</p>

Based on the inspection findings, a second generation of beetles appears to have emerged from the ground in high numbers. They have climbed onto potato crops to feed on the leaves before hibernating. New adults will continue to emerge until September. Although Colorado beetles still reproduce in September, this leaves no time for the formation of a new generation. Some adults looking to hibernate may fly onto potato crops in the nearby area, thus colonising new areas. As the weather cools and crops ripen, adult beetles will burrow into the ground to hibernate.

Evira asks all commercial and home potato farmers to keep monitoring their crops and potato fields. Please report any suspicions or beetle sightings by telephone, to Evira's hotline given below. You should be especially alert for adult beetles, larvae or signs of feeding on the potato crops and, in areas that have already been harvested, on the potato stalks. The beetles are active on warm days. Instructions for identifying the beetles can be found on Evira's website, by following the link below.

In many places, these are the final days for detecting any beetle occurrences. In terms of continuing the eradication of these beetles, it is vitally important that we locate any new beetle occurrences before the end of the summer. Beetle findings can be made when harvesting potatoes, or they can be found on fields already harvested, on potato stalks left on the field.

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 procedures more difficult. The key issue is therefore to report the sighting immediately and await the inspector's arrival at the site. In the field, it is advisable to mark the precise location of the infestation, to ensure that it can easily be found again. Eradication will not affect the use of the potato yield after the safety period related to the pesticide treatment, and the finding will not lead to a restriction on cultivation. The farmer will not have to pay for the eradication. Any other costs will be reimbursed under the Act on Protecting Plant Health.

Sightings and suspicions should be reported by telephone to Evira’s hotline: +358 40 801 4407 (from 9 am till 8 pm, including on weekends).

Further information:
Raija Valtonen, Head of Control Section, tel. +358 2077 25040, +358 40 560 2510
Atro Virtanen, Senior Inspector, tel. +358 2077 25047, +358 40 704 9607

For more information and photos of the Colorado beetle and its current occurrences, visit:
Plants > Cultivation and Production > Plant pests and diseases > Quarantine pests and diseases > Potatoes > Colorado beetle 


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