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Invasive beetles continue to spread in WA

by STAFF REPORT
Staff Report | July 31, 2022 4:02 PM

RICHLAND — The Japanese beetle infestation continues to spread following the discovery of more of the invasive pests in Richland.

According to a press release from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, department officials confirmed the discovery of a single beetle in a trap in Richland, about 35 miles east of Grandview, the epicenter of the Japanese beetle infestation. Earlier last week, WSDA officials announced the discovery of Japanese beetles in Wapato, roughly 30 miles west of Grandview.

As of Friday, WSDA said officials have set more traps in Richland in the hunt for additional beetles.

“Finding two detections so far from the original grid in two separate directions suggests the Japanese beetle population is spreading very quickly,” said Camilo Acosta, WSDA Japanese beetle eradication program coordinator, in the press release. “The longer the invasive pest continues to thrive here, the more difficult and expensive it will be to control.”

WSDA officials are urging growers and residents in Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties to monitor for the beetles, and inform the agency at its online beetle reporting website agr.wa.gov/beetles.

On Tuesday, Aug. 2, the agency is holding a public hearing on a proposed Japanese beetle quarantine area around Grandview at 2 p.m. at the Learning Center at 313 Division St. in Grandview.

For more information on the Japanese beetle, including a copyrighted photo of the pest, visit https://bit.ly/JAPANBTL1.

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