Patterns of spread of Carrot virus Y (CarVY) were examined in carrot plantings in Western Australia into which naturally occurring aphid vectors spread the virus from external infection sources. Within three field trials, CarVY 'infector' plants were introduced between or at different distances from carrot plantings. There was a marked decline in CarVY incidence over distance from adjacent introduced infection sources. Clusters of infected plants that enlarged and coalesced were concentrated next to such sources but, later, isolated, expanding clusters formed further away. With a small external virus source, initial spread into the edge of a planting was less extensive than with a larger source. When 15-m-wide fallow areas separated a CarVY source from carrot plots, spread was much slower than when the separation was only 1 m; it was also slower upwind than downwind of this source. The data collected help validate the inclusion of isolation and 'safe' planting distances, intervening fallow, planting upwind, prompt removal of virus sources, avoidance of side-by-side plantings and manipulation of planting date within an integrated disease management strategy for CarVY in carrots.