An invasive pest that has been battled since 1916, Japanese Beetles are again in the crosshairs of the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

  In 2024, WSDA will ask for public and grower help

In the areas where the beetles have been found, mainly in Eastern WA, the WSDA will again be encouraging citizens and growers to allow them to place traps and spray in areas where they are found.

The beetles were accidentally brought to the US in 1916 on the roots of some garden plants from Japan. Because they had no natural enemies to keep them in check, like in Japan, they quickly spread across the US.  They are known to be harmful to at least 300 varieties of plants, grass and other growth.

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The WSDA said this week:

"The WSDA Pest Program is hoping to build on this year’s success after having its first year with a decline in beetle catches this summer. While receiving responses from less than half of target properties, the program was still able to reduce the number of trapped beetles from 23,944 in 2022 to 19,655 in 2023."

2024 treatment programs are planned for the following areas, according to the WSDA:

"Currently, treatments are planned for most of Grandview as well as some areas in Sunnyside, Outlook, Mabton and Prosser. For the first time, WSDA is also planning to treat a square mile in the Pasco area."

To find out more about these highly invasive beetles, and to participate in the eradication program (if needed) you can get more information by clicking here.

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