What to do if you see the Colorado potato beetle (a UK notifiable quarantine pest)

The Colorado beetle, also known as the Colorado potato beetle, is a serious pest of potatoes, originating from North America. As a UK quarantine pest, if seen, it is important to notify the relevant authority.

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The beetle is only a pest of potatoes and other solanaceous crops.

However, it can enter the UK on imported potatoes and non-host material (usually, from crops grown near potatoes or previous potato crops).

The history of Colorado beetle

Scientific name: Leptinotarsa decemlineata

Colorado beetle originates from North America. The pest gained a foothold in France in 1922. Since then, it has since spread to most European countries.

What to do if you see Colorado beetle

Although not established in the UK, it is a notifiable quarantine pest. A single fertilised beetle can establish a breeding colony.

If the pest is found or suspected, contact your local Defra Plant Health and Seeds Inspector.

In England and Wales, call the Plant Health Helpline on 0300 1000 313 or email planthealth.info@apha.gov.uk

Colorado potato beetle larvae confirmed in Kent (July 2023 news)

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