Colorado spot sparks crops alert

A COLORADO beetle was found in Cambs last weekend (w/e Sept 4/5) when it landed on the plate of a couple who were enjoying a meal at a local pub.

The couple believe the beetle may have fallen from a tree as they were eating outside at the time.

DEFRA was contacted and the beetle – the first to be found in Cambs this year – was taken for further analysis.

Peter Hinnels, a senior plant health and seeds inspector, told the Cambridge Evening News the beetle may have arrived in the country from the continent by way of some poorly packed camping equipment.

“Sometimes they just come back from Europe in people‘s camping gear. They just walk on and walk off,” he said.

Rachel Carrington, the food and farming advisor at the National Farmers Union said farmers should remain vigilant for Colorado beetles.

“They are a concern,” she told the paper.

“They can be fairly devastating if they get into crops in any number,” she said

Further searches of the area were undertaken and no other beetles were found, but crops will continue to be examined and produce suppliers will be contacted.