Pest risk assessment of Eotetranychus lewisi for the EU territory
Following the 2014 EFSA's Panel on Plant Health scientific opinion on the pest categorisation of the spider mite Eotetranychus lewisi, the European Commission requested the Panel to perform a pest risk assessment and evaluate the risk reduction options. A stochastic model was used to assess entry, establishment and spread and related uncertainties. In the EU, E. lewisi has only been reported to occur in Portugal (Madeira). Entry pathways assessed were strawberry plants for planting from the USA, poinsettia and raspberry plants for planting, and orange and lemon fruits from third countries. Entry is most likely via poinsettia. Under current EU phytosanitary requirements, there is around a one in ten chance that E. lewisi will establish outdoors over the next 10 years. Although unlikely, establishment would most likely occur in southern Europe where environmental conditions, temperature and host density, are most suitable. If E. lewisi did establish, pest spread is expected to be mainly human assisted, most likely the mite being transported long distances on plants for planting. Nevertheless, while remaining a regulated pest, spread would be slow and most likely confined to one NUTS 2 area after 10 years. Under a scenario with enhanced measures (pest free place of production) at origin, the Panel's assessment indicate that it is extremely unlikely that E. lewisi would establish within 10 years hence spread is also extremely unlikely. The absence of trade of host plants from Madeira to other parts of the EU could explain why E. lewisi has not spread to other EU Member States. E. lewisi is reported as reducing yield and quality of peaches and poinsettia and is regarded as a growing concern for strawberry and raspberry growers in the Americas. The Panel concludes that should E. lewisi be introduced in the EU similar impacts could be expected.