A ‘Colorado’ Insect is Causing Big Alarm in Europe for Potato Farmers
The Colorado Potato Beetle has farmers in the U.K. on alert, as it could lead to an outbreak of them that hasn't been seen there since 1977.
You don't hear of many insects with the name of a geographical location in their names, often. Is Colorado getting a bad rap on this one? Would it be worse if it were named the American Potato Beetle?
It was in 1859 that a bug, first discovered in the Rocky Mountains between Colorado and northern Mexico, got named the Colorado Potato Beetle, as it began decimating crops in Nebraska.
Having grown up in Colorado, I can't say that I'm overly familiar with the Colorado Potato Beetle, though I think I may have heard mention of 'the potato bug.' It could be one of those things where, because we live in the state, we don't need to mention "Colorado."
The beetle is in the recent news out of the United Kingdom because they are fearful that they could be on the brink of an outbreak of the Colorado Potato Beetle. Their most recent outbreak dates all the way back to 1977; you can see where they might want to keep that streak alive.
From the Eastern Daily Press, the UK's Chief Plant Health Officer stated:
While 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.
In the late 1870s, many European countries banned the import of potatoes from America because of the Colorado Potato Beetle.
WHAT IS THE ISSUE WITH THE COLORADO POTATO BEETLE?
If left to do their "thing," the bugs will strip potato plants of their leaves.