Climate change increases fears of Colorado beetle infestation
The Government has issued a warning that people should be on the lookout for a serious insect pest during the spring and summer.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), climate change could be increasing the threat to the UK of the Colorado beetle, which can seriously damage potato crops, with a 1.8°C rise in temperature doubling the area in the UK in which the pest can survive.
The beetle can enter the country on leafy vegetables, potatoes, fruit, grain, seeds or timber, and people travelling into mainland Europe are being warned to check their cars and luggage before returning to the UK for the 10mm long black and yellow striped beetle. MAFF is directing anyone who thinks that they have found a Colorado beetle, alive or dead, to place it in a sealed container and take it to the nearest police station or MAFF office, together with the packaging material in which it was found.
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