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Colorado Potato Beetle Outbreak - Monday 14 August 2023

On Friday 11 August we have confirmed the finding of a single adult male Colorado beetle within the 1km surveillance zone in Kent.

This provides evidence of the value of our rigorous inspection activities to date. No additional colony has been detected and given the estimated age of the beetle it’s likely that this specimen probably dispersed from the original site. Surveillance will continue within the 1km zone.

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Colorado Potato Beetle Outbreak - Monday 17 July 2023

A single adult beetle identified in Hampshire was confirmed on Friday 14 July by Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata).

Confirmation was made following laboratory diagnosis of samples taken by APHA’s Plant Health and Seeds Inspectorate. This follows an unrelated outbreak of the beetle in the Kent area earlier this week.

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Colorado Potato Beetle Outbreak - Tuesday 11 July 2023

The Animal and Plant Health Agency has today (Tuesday 11 July 2023) confirmed findings of Colorado potato beetle larvae in Kent.


Colorado Potato Beetle on a stem

Colorado Potato Beetle - Copyright FERA


UK Chief Plant Health Officer Nicola Spence said:

“Following a report, our experts have identified the presence of Colorado beetle larvae in a potato field in Kent.

We are responding swiftly through our eradication programme, involving ground surveillance to look for beetles and larvae at the outbreak site and surrounding area.

Whilst this pest does not pose a threat to human health, we encourage all growers, farmers, processors and the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings, especially in Kent.”


Farmers and growers in particular are being encouraged to remain vigilant for signs of the pest. The beetle is bright yellow or orange with black stripes and is usually between 8.5 to 11.5mm in length and 3mm in width. Its larvae are a reddish brown in colour, round and globular, and up to 15mm in length.


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Report a pest or disease


There are many pests and diseases that can seriously damage crops and plants in the UK. Assessing and understanding these threats is essential to informing the actions needed to protect plant health set out in Protecting Plant Health - A Plant Biosecurity Strategy for Great Britain.

As the Strategy makes clear, tackling threats to plant health is not just a matter for government; success is dependent on partnership working between all those with a role to play. To this end the Portal is a shared resource providing information about plant pests and diseases, including the assessments of risk undertaken by government and the data underpinning those assessments, with links to other sites of interest, including non-government sites, as well as information on the plant health controls and services provided by government.


UK Plant Health Risk Register


Recorded pests

The UK Plant Health Risk Register records and rates risks to UK crops, trees, gardens and ecosystems from plant pests and pathogens.

Visit the UK Plant Health Risk Register

Citizen Science

Initiatives providing opportunities for members of the public to get involved in helping combat threats to plant health. How you can help tackle plant health risks.

Find out more about Citizen Science initiatives.



Explore our Resources section.