The Oregon Department of Agriculture reported this week on the progress made with its ongoing Japanese beetle eradication project.
The project targets a 1,000-acre, largely residential area of Washington County that includes the Cedar Mill and Bonny Slope communities. A record-breaking 369 Japanese beetles were trapped in the area last year, and numerous live beetles were found feeding on roses and other plants.
Japanese beetle is an invasive insect pest that can be destructive in urban and agricultural environments. An ODA risk analysis determined the economic impact to all crops, commodities and other related businesses could be as much as $45.5 million if Japanese beetle becomes established in Oregon and generally dispersed throughout the state.
Almost all turf in areas where beetles were trapped last year received treatment with granular applications of the insecticide Acelepryn, which targets Japanese beetle grubs. Acelepryn is safe to humans and domesticated animals.
“In total, we had about 40 refusals, but many of these have elected to not water their lawns; provided medical reasons, allowing them to have an alternative (less effective) bacterial treatment; or have elected to conduct the treatment themselves,” reported Clinton E. Burfitt, ODA program manager.
After the pesticide treatments are completed this week, the next phase will be green waste containment. According to Burfitt, “These containment efforts are necessary to keep the infestation from spreading based upon the current waste management practices. Washington County and ODA will be sending out communication documents explaining the changes and providing information to residents and landscapers.”
To monitor the results of the eradication project, traps have been placed within the infested area and detection traps statewide are being deployed.
A facilitated project debriefing will be held at the Food and Innovation Center in Portland from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. on Thursday, June 14. Those interested in attending can RSVP at this link.