The fight against Japanese beetle in BC has expanded.
A federal order has expanded the areas regulated to limit the spread of Japanese beetle, which was discovered in new areas of the Lower Mainland last year.
The regulated area in Vancouver now extends west to Bleinheim Street and south to 49th Avenue. This responds to the discovery of 50 beetles last year on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth and Carnarvon parks. Previously, the regulated area extended north from 12th Avenue to Burrard Inlet, between Burrard Street and Clark Drive.
A new regulated area was also set up in Burnaby near Burnaby Lake around Charles Rummel Park, encompassing the area where five beetles were found last year.
The beetle was first detected on the shores of False Creek in downtown Vancouver in 2017. Control efforts managed to reduce discoveries within the regulated area, including downtown, from 8,263 beetles in 2018 to 23 individuals last year.
But last year, detections outside the regulated area rose to 60% of finds versus just 1% in 2020.
By expanding the regulated areas, CFIA hopes to contain the pest. Designated yard waste collection sites have been set up within the regulated areas and movement of plant, soil and other high-risk materials outside the regulated areas is prohibited except with a permit.
Should the pest enter agricultural areas, it could cause significant damage to a wide variety of ornamental and food crops.
Control efforts aim to eliminate the pest. Two years of no detections would signal eradication, though monitoring would continue to maintain vigilance against future introductions.