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Volume 15, Issue 6
June 2017


Japanese beetle update: don’t spread the beetles through yard debris!

Last year, a large number of invasive Japanese beetles were caught in traps in the Burton Estates neighborhood in central Cedar Mill.  Further traps caught more beetles around our neighborhoods. This triggered an effort to contain this outbreak, which threatens Oregon agriculture and gardens. (The ODA routinely deploys traps around the state, but rarely catches Japanese beetles.)

beetle sign

ODA began an eradication effort by hiring a contractor who sprinkled a targeted larvicide on “irrigated turf”—lawns—where the pest was detected (in the pink area on the map). They will be finished with treatments later this week.

ODA Program Manager Clint Burfitt reports, “We have approximately 20 properties left. These are residents that have refused treatments and have not corresponded with ODA. We have requested administrative warrants to treat these properties. In total, we had ~40 refusals, but many of these have elected to not water their lawns; have provided medical reasons, allowing them to have an alternative (less effective) bacterial treatment; or have elected to conduct the treatment themselves.”

Expect beetles this summer

There is no effective way to kill the beetles that are getting ready to hatch now. The treatment will affect the eggs laid by this summer’s hatch of beetles. By July, will undoubtedly be seeing many of these critters in the affected area. They can be collected by hand and dropped in containers of soapy water to help prevent the damage they’ll cause on roses and other garden plants.

Because the beetles spend time in lawns, it’s extremely important for all of us to dispose of lawn clippings and other yard debris in the approved manner. Burfitt explains, “Green waste containment efforts are in progress: ODA is in the contracting phase to move yard debris from residential curbside cans to the Hillsboro landfill. The State of Oregon, Department of Administrative Services is in the process of obtaining a lease agreement that will provide a landscaper drop-off site to collect yard debris from the quarantine area and transfer it to the landfill.”

beetle trap

If lawn clippings are disposed of in any other way, they can carry beetles outside the treatment area and lead to further outbreaks. Many landscapers dispose of green waste in unofficial dumping spots. If you use a yard service, make sure your workers understand the situation. The ODA-contracted drop-off site will be free.

All the efforts so far will be useless if this practice isn’t followed. If you normally compost your green waste, you should use the yard debris container provided by your garbage hauler instead until the beetle outbreak is stopped. It may take up to five years to effectively stop the pest.

Washington County and ODA will be sending out communications explaining the changes and providing information to residents and landscapers. Quarantine signs have been posted on primary roads leading into and leaving the quarantine area. 

Burfitt says, “Trap activities are in full swing. All traps have been placed within the infested area, and detection traps statewide are being deployed. I estimate our state total this year will be 7,500 traps; approximately 2,500 of these will be to delimit in the tri-county area.” If further outbreaks, outside the Cedar Mill area, are detected, the ODA will be able to respond quickly by treating those areas next spring.

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Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
© 2017