The threat the Colorado beetle poses
The Colorado beetle presents an annual threat to potato production in Jersey via invasion from France. Under international plant health laws, both the UK and Jersey are 'protected zones' for this pest, meaning that it is not present in the area. Should Colorado beetle become established in Jersey, not only would it devastate the potato crop but it would affect the export of the crop to the UK. The Jersey Royal crop is worth approximately £22.5 million per year.
Monitoring during high risk periods
When certain climatic thresholds are reached, beaches and potato crops are inspected.
- easterly winds exceeding 20 knots, which may carry the flying beetles across the sea to the Island
- greater than 6 hours of direct sunshine
- temperature exceeding 20°C
- high climatic instability (thermal activity)
- high beetle flight activity on the adjacent French coast
Through continued liaison with the French plant protection authorities and monitoring of suitable weather conditions, the system monitoring risk periods in Jersey from Colorado beetle continues to operate well.
Colorado beetle DEFRA leaflet