GRANDVIEW, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) caught hundreds of Japanese beetles on the first day of checking the recently placed beetle traps.
In all, WSDA collected 415 Japanese beetles in several traps when trappers began checking them Tuesday, June 29. The beetles were primarily collected near public schools in Grandview. The traps have been placed in Yakima County near areas where WSDA trapped just three beetles last year and where a Grandview resident reported finding dozens of the pest on her roses last summer.
“Given the damage these beetles can do, finding so many beetles so quickly is definitely concerning,” Greg Haubrich, WSDA Pest Program manager said. “It further illustrates how important this year will be for determining how large of an infestation we have in Washington. While our traps will provide critical data, residents reporting Japanese beetle sightings continues to be incredibly important.”
Adult Japanese beetles are metallic green and brown and have little tufts of white hairs on their sides. They emerge – usually from lawns or other soil – and feed throughout the summer. From fall to spring the grubs overwinter in the soil and slowly develop into mature adults ready to emerge again in the spring. While roses are a favorite for Japanese beetles, they feed on more than 300 types of plants, including crops widely grown in the Yakima Valley, such as grapes, hops, apples, cherries, corn, peaches, asparagus, and grass.
If these beetles become established in Washington, it will have serious impacts to gardens, parks, lawns, and agriculture.
WSDA is asking anyone who thinks they see Japanese beetles to collect them, take a photo, and submit a report. Japanese beetles do not bite or sting, so they can be safely and easily collected. Visit agr.wa.gov/beetles to report suspected sightings, including the number of beetles with the report.
In addition to reporting Japanese beetles, residents can protect their own yards and gardens and help determine their spread by trapping for the beetles. Commercial traps are available at local farm and garden centers or can be purchased online. When trapping for Japanese beetles, all trap catches should also be reported.
— Washington State Department of Agriculture
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