State Agriculture Department Urges Pasco Residents to Report Sightings of Invasive Japanese Beetles

In recent weeks, five invasive Japanese Beetles have been found in Pasco. So now, the State Department of Agriculture wants you to be on the lookout for these destructive bugs.

The pests are a danger to over three hundred types of crops. Luckily, the recent findings are the first in the tri-cities in about a year. Leaders from the Department of Agriculture tell us the overall number of beetles is headed in the right direction, but tell us there’s a lot of work still to be done.

Amber Betts, Spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Agriculture, says. “I think one of the biggest things we want to get across is, this is something that’s going to be several years of our hard work. We’re going to be relying a lot on community participation. Those community reports are vital.”

Betts says taking a picture is key when reporting a potential sighting.

Ag leaders say everything from brush and branches to roots with soil attached, potted plants, and even topsoil can carry the pest. They say the beetles can be moved in field or yard waste, purchased plants, infested turf and sod, gardening soil, and more.

“What we’ve done in Grandview especially, in addition to traps, we’ve instituted a yard-debris quarantine. During the flight season, from May to October, the adults come up out of the ground and fly around. We have prohibited the movement of certain materials they could take a ride on. So, we’ve created a space where residents can move their yard waste. Once the life cycle of the adult beetle ends, we take that material and compost it. What we did in Grandview was the same thing, it’s likely that we’ll follow in the same suite.” says Betts.

Leaders say they’re only in the starting stages here in Pasco, but say this has been a years-long battle, that overall is headed in the right direction.

“Just even year-over-year from 2021 to 2022, we caught about the same, a little less than we did the year before, but with the way they mate, the population would be growing a lot more, and would certainly not be a little bit less. It’s a good indication.”

You can find a map from WSDA of the reported beetle sighting here.

Source : KEPR


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