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American River Messenger

Rich Desmond Update: Japanese Beetles in Sacramento County

Apr 09, 2021 12:00AM ● By Supervisor Rich Desmond, Third District

RICH DESMOND Supervisor, Third District

Dear Friends,

Help us protect our natural resources, neighborhood gardens, and agriculture from the Japanese beetle (JB). The Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner, in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), began an extensive survey in response to the detection of Japanese beetles in the Arden-Arcade area and will begin treatment later this year.

Like many invasive species, Japanese beetles outside of their native habitat do not have natural enemies in the United States to balance out and stabilize their population. Throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States, JB populations create large-scale destruction to a wide variety of both ornamental and agricultural plants. Because the beetle is a serious threat to many of California’s thriving industries, including nurseries, turf grass, and specialty crops, CDFA is working hard to contain the JB population through quarantine and treatment. The fight to eradicate and prevent invasive species such as JB is an effort to protect California’s agriculture and environment. California has historically been free of JB but has experienced the occasional infestation. These infestations have been successfully eradicated when found, and this has allowed the state to maintain its nationally-recognized JB-free status.

The JB traps are green plastic vessels baited with a commercially produced combination of a food lure and male sex attractant. The traps are placed near grass areas and other favored hosts. In addition to trapping, a visual survey for adult beetles on host plants within the areas surrounding the detection sites has occurred.

Due to the number of detections, treatment will be needed in 2021. One treatment per year on turf and lawns will take place. Initial treatment will use a liquid spray, which could in the future be potentially spready by granular pellets. CDFA will ensure safe and proper treatment applications and post-treatment monitoring. Prior to treatment residents will receive information on reporting beetles and treatment. During treatment there will be scheduled treatment days; however, staff will work around residents' schedules. Only professional staff in uniform with prominent ID badges will approach homes. The treatment is free of charge. After treatment signs will be placed on treated lawns and residents will be asked to say off the lawn until it dries. Signs will be removed the following day.

Residents can help by cooperating with agricultural staff for treatments and identifying places for survey traps. Report beetle presence and potential plant damage to the CDFA Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899.

Residents with questions about the project may call the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner's office at (916) 875-6603 or CDFA's Pest Hotline at (800) 491-1899. Additional information can be found on the CDFA website.