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Invasive species of Japanese beetle discovered in Vancouver

Vancouver Sun, Harrison Mooney, May 24, 2018, VANCOUVER - The Japanese beetle, an invasive pest native to Japan, as its name suggests, has been discovered in the False Creek area. This is the second such sighting of the Japanese beetle in False Creek. The insect was first spotted in the area last August after it was found in a trap. Before that instance, it had only been discovered in Canada’s Eastern provinces.

How it arrived in Vancouver is anyone’s guess, but the bug could have accompanied nursery or greenhouse stock, or had been embedded in imported soil.

As a result, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued an order that plants and soil can’t be taken from an areas that includes neighbourhoods in False Creek, Chinatown and Mount Pleasant.

In Japan, the beetle’s population is controlled by natural predators and local parasites. But without these protections against infestation, Japanese beetles can cause widespread damage to plant life, attacking the roots, leaves and fruit of a variety of crops and trees.

In a release last August, the federal agency said the beetle’s presence in Vancouver could cause “significant costs associated with damage to grass, flowers and trees in parks and private properties.” 

In other words, forget 4/20 — these beetles are the real grass menace.

The city and park board said in a joint news release that they will be working closely with federal and provincial government to respond to the presence of this invasive pest.

hmooney@postmedia.com

with files from CP

Click here for the original article.

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