There is now a large risk that the Colorado Potato Beetle may spread to Finland

21.6.2007

<div>The risk that Colorado potato beetles will spread to Finland with the air flows is now at its greatest. Based on the experience of previous years it has been found that the possibility of an invasion of Colorado potato beetles is at the greatest around Midsummer, usually during the weeks after Midsummer. There are Colorado potato beetles in the Baltic countries and in Russia, so the air flows and thunder storm fronts from the east and south-east especially, add to the risk of Colorado potato beetles migrating to Finland.</div>

The Colorado potato beetles are not good at flying, so they need help to spread. They open their elytra (forewings) and throw themselves into the wind to be transported through the air while searching for new areas. Another possible route of migration is the car and train traffic from the east. It is possible to find single beetles in the potato fields close to the main roads and the train track.

The risk of the Colorado potato beetle spreading is highest in South Karelia, North Karelia and South Savo, but with thunderstorms the beetles can also be carried to other parts of Finland. This year the prevailing wind flows have been mainly from the west, but last weekend a heavy thunderstorm moved over the Baltic countries, the edge of which moved over Southern Finland. It is possible that beetles have spread with this storm front to Finland.

This summer there have not been any sightings of Colorado potato beetles as yet. The plant protection inspectors of Evira and the TE-centres started the monitoring for Colorado potato beetles this week. The checks were started in the places where Colorado potato beetles had been found last year. There were a total of five findings; in Parikkala, Kesälahti and Sipoo. Later also other potato fields will be monitored.

Contact information for the reporting of any sightings and additional information about the Colorado potato beetle may be found on Evira's Internet pages (in Finnish): www.evira.fi/koloradonkuoriainen

For more information, please contact:

Senior Inspector Olli Elfving, tel. 020 77 25048

firstname.lastnameat-merkki.gifevira.fi

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