The Colorado Beetle


    AN article by Mr. J. C. F. Fryer in the Gardener's Chronicle of June 23, 1934, issues a note of warning about the possible spread of the Colorado beetle in Great Britain. For long periods our potato crops remained free from attack by this pest, and even when it appeared at Tilbury in 1901, it was quickly eradicated. Since the War, the beetle has established itself in France, and in August 1933 it re-appeared at Tilbury. Drastic measures to prevent its spread were taken immediately, and whilst it seems possible that they were successful, Mr. Fryer appeals to potato growers to maintain a careful watch for the conspicuous beetle. Partially eaten potato foliage suggests its presence, and close examination should be made for the insect. It has wing cases striped longitudinally with black and yellow, and is about half an inch long. That the pest has not yet established itself in Great Britain is a matter for congratulation, but continued freedom demands close co-operation from growers. Attacks in their early stages can be controlled with comparative ease, but when a colony is well established, it may have sent individuals to found other colonies.

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    The Colorado Beetle. Nature 134, 94 (1934).

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