We have been informed of a current Pest Alert : Colorado Potato Beetle that we want to make you all aware of.
An outbreak of Colorado Beetle has been confirmed in Kent. Colorado beetle is not endemic to the UK and is a GB quarantine pest. The outbreak in Kent is in a crop of potatoes and live larvae have been found with the crop showing signs of damage.
Please note: Host species for the Colorado Beetle are the nightshade family which include the Solanaceae family (including tomato plants, aubergines, peppers, cabbages, salad leaf, wild carrot, lettuce, parsley, tobacco and potatoes).
The Animal and Plant Health Agency are conducting ground surveillance and an eradication programme is underway to minimise the risk of spread. The beetle causes 20-100% reduction in potato yield through feeding on foliage.
All growers, farmers, processors and members of the public should remain vigilant for this pest.
Active monitoring by crop walking will aid early detection – especially look out for the adult beetles bright yellow/orange colour with ten black stripes on its body (five on each wing case), it is usually the size of a little fingernail. The larvae are reddish brown and globular.
All suspected findings whether in a commercial, wider environment or domestic setting must be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency under Plant Health Regulation - Tel: 0300 1000 313 or Email: email@example.com.
Please find below supporting document from DEFRA that shows example of both the adult and larva stage to help aid identification.