Washington State

Japanese beetle quarantine boundaries expanded by emergency rule

The Japanese beetle eradication project leaders confirmed Japanese beetles have spread beyond the initial quarantine area adopted earlier this year. On December 15, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) filed an emergency rule to expand the boundaries of the internal quarantine of Japanese beetle. The internal quarantine is part of a three-pronged effort to eradicate the invasive pest in Washington state. 

Emergency rules are in effect immediately and last for 120 days. Officials also began the process of making the emergency rule become a permanent rule.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, WSDA took extensive measures to reduce the spread of the beetle, with an ultimate goal of eradicating it. Measures taken included treating residential and public properties with pesticide, trapping, and establishing an internal quarantine. Despite these efforts, by the end of the 2022 trapping season, numerous Japanese beetles were caught outside of the established internal quarantine area.

“Due to this, immediate action is needed to expand the internal Japanese beetle quarantine to more accurately reflect the area of infestation in order to prevent the beetles from spreading into non-infested areas,” Camilo Acosta, project coordinator said.

Adult Japanese beetles are metallic green and brown and have little tufts of white hair on their sides. They emerge – usually from lawns or in other soil – in the spring and feed throughout the summer. From fall to spring the grubs (larvae) overwinter in the soil and slowly develop into mature adults ready to emerge again in the spring.

Community members can help by trapping, reporting, and killing the beetles on their properties. Residents must also follow the quarantine to prevent spreading the beetles by not moving items known to transport beetles outside of the quarantine area.

For more information: einnews.com

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