|Photo by Randy L. Rasmussen / The Oregonian|
Presently, Oregon remains officially Japanese-beetle free, thanks to the efforts of the state’s insect pest prevention and management program. According to an in-depth story recently published by The Oregonian, workers for the Oregon Department of Agriculture use pheromone and scent traps to catch any adult beetles, and spray pesticide on shrubs and turf at the Portland International Airport to prevent the thumbnail-sized, iridescent green and brown insects from invading the West Coast. The greenery around the airport is of particular concern because the beetles can be carried to Oregon by plane. Japanese beetles first exploded into large, destructive populations east of the Mississippi River. Slowly, they are marching west, feeding on turf, fruit trees, berries, hops and numerous ornamental plants. If Japanese beetles go unchecked, the state estimates they will ring up a $33 million annual tab.