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Washington On Alert For Japanese Beetles After Oregon Outbreak


A Japanese beetle sits on a developing cluster of geranium flower buds.

A Japanese beetle sits on a developing cluster of geranium flower buds.

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

The Washington State Department of Agriculture will put out more traps in southwest Washington this summer to detect Japanese beetles, a strong-flying and leaf-eating pest found in abundance last summer across the Columbia River in Oregon.

Unlike other Western states, Washington has never had an outbreak of the invasive insect. Last year, WSDA trapped just three Japanese beetles — all at airports in King County.

But the Oregon Department of Agriculture detected a record 369 Japanese beetles in Cedar Mill, a suburb of Portland. ODA has just finished spreading a granular insecticide, Acelepryn, at more than 2,400 residences to kill larvae. ODA obtained a court order to ensure it could get on every property.

Washington has never had to conduct an eradication campaign for Japanese beetles, though it has experience in spraying for gypsy moths, another invasive species that like the Japanese beetle is widespread in the East but has so far been fended off in the West.

Read more at the Capital Press.

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