Last week, the Washington State Department of Agriculture announced that the Japanese beetle population continues to grow in Yakima and Benton counties. Since the announcement of the outbreak of this invasive species, the WSDA has caught 20,000 beetles, with an anticipation of even more beetles before the growing season comes to an end. The beetles are extremely destructive, and the WSDA is concerned that crops and local gardens will suffer. Because of that, the Department would like those living in the Grandview area to trap beetles on their property.
WSDA warns if Japanese beetles become established in Washington, it would have serious trade and economic impacts: including:
· Oregon, California and Idaho would impose restrictions on all Washington nursery stock.
· Shipments of nursery plants to British Columbia would be severely restricted, with more costly production requirements for Washington growers.
· Other countries that consider Japanese beetle a harmful pest include many of our major trading partners, and they could impose trade restrictions to: EU, Japan, China, Korea and Mexico.
· Besides hurting our economy, Japanese beetles can ruin your home garden if they gain a foothold here.
Residents that find a Japanese beetle on their property are asked to report their findings, and treat their property to help eliminate this pest in our county. The WSDA is also working on rulemaking for a quarantine.
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