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Colorado beetles more common this summer

Exceptionally high numbers of colorado beetles have already been spotted in Finland this summer. Nationwide the bugs have been spotted at six locations, and more sightings are expected over the summer.

Image: USDA / Scott Bauer

Last year just one sighting was reported. The Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) says that although the situation is under control, it is important for each report to be dealt with thoroughly to ensure the sightings do not become an annual event.

“At the moment the situation is under control, as they are not permanently present in Finland,” said Raija Valtonen, head of Evira’s control section. “So long as all sightings are reported and the beetles are eradicated, the situation remains good. Otherwise the beetles will become a problem in potato fields every year.”

The beetles are believed to arrive in Finland via air currents, but Evira is unsure of the precise origin of this year’s invasion. The beetles have spread across a wide geographical area, with sightings reported in Joutsa, Kouvola, Sysmä, Nummi-Pusula and Somero.

So long as Colorado beetles are discovered in time, only a portion of the potato field needs to be destroyed. Farmers can still harvest crops from the rest of their farm after the infestation is dealt with.

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