A single grownup Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) has been recognized in Hampshire.

Affirmation was made right this moment (Friday, July 14) by the Division for Setting, Meals and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Well being Company (APHA) following laboratory testing of samples.

This follows what Defra and the APHA have referred to as an “unrelated outbreak” of the beetle in Kent, earlier this week.

The APHA has since eliminated the beetle from the Hampshire location and will likely be conducting surveys in gardens, potato crops and land across the discovering to make sure there are not any different Colorado beetles current.

UK Chief Plant Well being Officer Nicola Spence stated: “The beetle was swiftly eliminated by the Plant Well being and Seeds Inspectorate and there’s no proof to counsel this discovering is linked to the outbreak in Kent.

“While this pest doesn’t pose a risk to human well being, we encourage all growers, farmers, processors and the general public to stay vigilant and report any sightings.”

If not eradicated, the Colorado potato beetle is a major risk to potato crops.

The grownup beetles and larvae feed on the foliage of potato and different vegetation within the nightshade household, i.e. tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, and may fully strip them of their leaves if they’re left uncontrolled.

It’s presently regulated as a Nice Britain quarantine pest and the APHA is obligated to assist efforts to take care of this standing.

The beetles are often introduced into the UK from continental Europe as ‘hitchhikers’ on non-host plant materials.

Previously 70 years, there have been two outbreaks of Colorado potato beetles within the UK, one in 1976 and one in 1977. Each outbreaks had been eradicated shortly after detection.

Sighting of the beetle ought to be reported to the APHA.