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Japanese beetles spreading in WA

by STAFF REPORT
Staff Report | July 28, 2022 4:06 PM

WAPATO — Officials with the Washington State Department of Agriculture announced this week that Japanese beetles have been found in Wapato, nearly 30 miles away from the current infestation in Grandview, according to a WSDA press release.

According to WSDA, a concerned resident of Wapato contacted the agency after capturing three suspected Japanese beetles in his garden eating peas and grapes. WSDA sent a team to the resident’s home, evaluated the damage to the garden, collected several additional specimens and confirmed the beetle infestation.

“While we’ve been detecting some beetles outside the proposed Japanese beetle quarantine area around Grandview, finding one so far from the main infestation indicates the beetles are spreading quickly — possibly through human movement of the pest,” said WSDA’s Japanese beetle eradication coordinator Camilo Acosta in a press release.

WSDA is asking farmers and residents in Yakima and Benton counties to keep an eye out for Japanese beetles and consult crop protection specialists or WSU extension agents for advice on how to best protect their plants from the beetles, the press release said. The WSDA has also created an interactive map of the current beetle infestation at shorturl.at/INQ07.

Currently, the agency has set in motion a multi-year effort to eradicate the beetles, starting by setting traps to determine the extent of the infestation, the press release said. The press release said the WSDA hopes to move on to lawn and soil treatments, where the beetle grubs do the most damage by eating the roots of plants.

WSDA is also encouraging anyone to set out their own traps, and if they catch any of the iridescent green and brown beetles, to report them to the agency’s Japanese beetle eradication program at agr.wa.gov/beetles.

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