39th Meeting of the Colorado Beetle Campaign Committee

Caen, FR, 2014-12-02


The 39th meeting of the Colorado Beetle Campaign Committee took place in Caen on the 2nd of December at the offices of the Service Régional d’Alimentation of Basse-Normandie in Caen. The campaign began in 1948, three years before the creation of EPPO, and is one of the longest standing examples of successful international co-operation to prevent the spread of a plant pest. The campaign monitors the level of Colorado beetle infestation in potato crops in the Cotentin peninsula during two survey visits.  Treatment of infested plots is required and verified. Plant health services in the Channel Islands are alerted when weather conditions favour dispersal of the pest in their direction, so that their monitoring and publicity can be intensified. 2013 showed the lowest level of findings ever recorded in the survey, but more favourable conditions during 2014 have led to a higher potential for overwintering beetles in Contentin, and a potentially increased risk to the Channel Islands again in 2015.



Courtesy: DRAAF-SRAL, Basse-Normandie (FR)
One of the cages used to monitor flight
potential of the beetles


Representatives of the Channel Islands expressed their thanks to colleagues in  Basse-Normandie for their help in keeping the islands free from this pest, and helping to secure the important export market in new potatoes from the islands to the UK. The Committee noted that a lot of interesting data on pest incidence had been gathered during the campaign and was a potential resource for researchers. One area of concern was whether the level of public awareness of Colorado beetle and the need to report any sightings is as high now in the Channel Islands as it was twenty years ago. 


The campaign is funded by contributions from the National Plant Protection Organisations of Jersey, Guernsey and France. The Committee agreed the budget and plans for the campaign in 2015.