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Japanese beetle invades Vancouver and it’s worse than the chafer beetle

Global News Radio 980 CKNW, Emily Lazatin, May 25, 2018. There’s a new pest in town and health officials say it’s much more dangerous than the chafer beetle. The Japanese beetle was first discovered last summer in Vancouver’s False Creek neighbourhood and City officials say more than 7.5 hectares of land and park space need to be treated now with a larvacide to get rid of it. The province’s top veterinary officer, Dr. Jane Pritchard, says the beetle flies and can do a lot of damage.

“It basically eats leaves, it kills the plants. It is actual destruction of plants and that includes agricultural crops and all of the ornamental nurseries.”

Shannon Derkson, with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, says it’s not known how the metallic green and copper insect arrived in Vancouver.

“It can travel on planes, trains, cars. The main pathway we know about is plants for planting so plants with soil attached.”

Nine parks are affected.

Ninety per cent of the beetles were found at David Lam Park.

Derkson says if you live in the affected areas, restrictions are now in place.

“Effective immediately, year round, the movement of soil and plants with soil attached is restricted out of the regulated area. You need written permission from CFIA to move those items. The second part is the movement of above-ground plant materials. Anything above ground, such as prunings, branches with leaves is restricted movement from June 15 to October 15 as that is when the beetles are present. That will also require permission from CFIA to move.”

The boundaries of the regulated area are:

Burrard Street – north from West 12 Avenue to Burrard Inlet
Burrard Street – east along West 12 Avenue to Clark Drive
Clark Drive – north from East 12 Avenue to Burrard Inlet

The city of Vancouver plans to treat the affected areas with the larvacide Acelepryn over the coming weeks.

The larvacide is approved for use in Canada by Health Canada and also under city of Vancouver bylaws.

Read or listen to the full article on Global's website here.

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