The Washington State Department of Agriculture has proposed  a series of restrictions, and regulations concerning efforts to combat the spread of  the invasive Japanese Beetle.

   New restrictions will be commented on

WA state is one of several that are battling to eradicate the Japanese Beetle, which is considered a pest or threat to nearly 300 plant species in the US, especially the west.

It's what's called a scarab beetle, according to the USDA:

"Adults feed on the foliage and fruits of several hundred species of fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, and field and vegetable crops. Adults leave behind skeletonized leaves and large, irregular holes in leaves."

The WSDA wants to make cut flowers and topsoil regulated items, and make the internal quarantine area in central and eastern WA permanent: (from WSDA)

 "The current permanent internal quarantine specified in chapter 16-470 WAC covers 49 square miles in the southeastern corner of Yakima County and the southwestern corner of Benton County. Japanese beetle catches from the 2022 and 2023 trapping seasons indicate that a permanent expansion of the internal quarantine is necessary to prevent further infestation of this pest in non-quarantined areas.

Topsoil containing vegetative material, has already been identified as a potential pathway in which Japanese beetle could spread and is currently regulated under the quarantine. Soil samples pose a similar risk and have been identified as another way the beetle could spread. Adding soil samples to the regulated articles list will help prevent further spread of this pest.

Cut flowers are already a regulated article under the quarantine. The proposed amendments clarify that cut flowers exposed to open air environments during their harvest, transportation, or trade are regulated."

Public input will be taken on these proposals, here's how to comment:

The department will hold a public hearing to receive information and comments regarding the proposed amendments on:

DATE:August 6, 2024
TIME:2:00 PM
LOCATION:Microsoft Teams
Join the meeting now
Meeting ID: 227 355 433 524
Passcode: MxYsLN

Dial in by phone
+1 564-999-2000,
Phone conference ID: 810 804 665#

Send written comments using one of the following:

By mail:
Gloriann Robinson, Agency Rules Coordinator
Washington State Dept. of Agriculture
PO Box 42560
Olympia, WA 98504-2560

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