The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has expanded the regulated area for Japanese beetle to include most of Vancouver with additional areas in Burnaby, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam also subject to movement restrictions.
The regulations mean that plants with soil attached cannot be moved outside the regulated areas without a CFIA movement certificate.
The expanded areas include much of Vancouver‚Äôs garden-rich west side, as well as much of Port Coquitlam and additional segments of Coquitlam and Burnaby, both of which were included in the regulated areas last year.
The changes were published on the CFIA site May 5, with a public notice issued this week as the beetles‚Äô flying season takes off.
Port Coquitlam was home to more than half the beetles trapped in the region last year, at 126 out of 206 captures. Surveillance in Burnaby and Richmond also caught individuals, while captures in Vancouver ‚Äď where the beetle was first detected in 2017 ‚Äď have continued to fall.
The expanded control area in Vancouver indicates the level of concern that exists around the beetle, however, including the concern that it could spread closer to agricultural areas.
‚ÄúThese detections indicate that there may be a viable Japanese beetle population,‚ÄĚ a CFIA bulletin last fall said of the captures in Port Coquitlam.
Port Coquitlam lies just across the Pitt River from the nurseries and blueberry fields of Pitt Meadows, putting the bug on the doorstep of the province‚Äôs agricultural heartland. Any establishment of the pest in the province‚Äôs commercial growing areas would result in tens of millions of dollars in damage, according to estimates drafted for the industry in Oregon.
Detections of the pest in Yakima and Benton counties of eastern Washington, key grape-growing regions, have triggered aggressive eradication efforts to protect local agricultural operations.
A record 5,928 traps were set at sites in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby and Port Coquitlam last year. This year‚Äôs surveillance program includes traps in tree canopies as well as closer to the ground.
Potential beetle sightings in BC can be reported to the CFIA at https://tinyurl.com/JBinBC.