About This Species
Japanese beetles first established in North America in 1916 in the Eastern United States and have since been slowly moving Westward. Infestations occasionally occur in Washington and Oregon when beetles are accidentally transported on shipping vehicles.
Japanese beetles were first found in BC in July 2017 in downtown Vancouver. The population is centralized around the False Creek area and has not spread outside of the downtown area.
Adult Japanese beetles can feed on over 300 species of plants, including many species of agricultural and horticultural importance. Adult beetles damage plants by skeletonizing leaves, and beetle larvae live underground and feed exclusively on the roots of turf and grasses, leaving patches of brown grass in otherwise healthy lawns. Adult beetles emerge from hibernation around June, when temperatures consistently reach above 21 °C.
If Japanese beetle were to establish in BC, it would have a serious economic impact on our agriculture and turf industries.
How to Identify
Adult beetles are around 1 cm long, with a rounded oval shape and a hard shiny green exoskeleton and brown wing covers. The best defining characteristic of this beetle is the six tufts of white hairs running down either sides of the abdomen– no other beetle in BC has this pattern.
Refer to the Japanese Beetle Look-alikes Factsheet to compare the Japanese beetle with similar looking insects found in BC.
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The best way to control Japanese beetle is to prevent it from spreading.