Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

Japanese Beetle Fall Update

Japanese beetle, Dave Holden

Published November 9, 2021

Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) were first found in BC in July 2017 in downtown Vancouver. Adult beetles damage plants while the beetle larvae live underground and damage the roots of turf and grasses.

Japanese Beetle Larvae Remain in Soil Over Winter

While Japanese beetles are no longer in flight, the larvae remain in the soil over winter. Residents within the Regulated Area should continue to follow best practices when moving or disposing of soils to prevent accidently moving larvae. Soil remains a regulated article within the Regulated Area year-round. Movement of larger quantities of soil or plant material outside the Regulated Area requires a Movement Certificate from the CFIA, which can be obtained by calling 604-292-5742 or emailing CFIA.

For more information regarding the movement of soil and plant parts in and out of the Regulated Area, please see CFIA’s Guidance for the movement of plants, plant parts and soil leaving the Japanese beetle regulated area in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Preventing the Spread of Japanese Beetle

Whether you are gardening in your own home or a landscaper working for a client, where possible, keep soil and green waste on site! Not moving branches, clippings and excess soil reduces the opportunity for introductions to new areas.

  • Compost plant waste on-site to help prevent the spread of all Japanese beetle life stages. 
  • Use the City of Vancouver municipal green bins to dispose of plant and soil material that cannot be stored on site. Remember to consult your municipal guidelines for disposal of invasive plant material.
  • Clean soil from all equipment, tools and boots, especially if you intend to use them in another location.
  • If you must move any green waste off site, shake plants to remove any Japanese beetle prior to disposal or prior to loading it into your vehicle for transport to a disposal site.
  • See the ISCBC Japanese Beetle Alert: Yard WasteJapanese Beetle and Community Gardens and Japanese Beetle Look-alikes factsheet for more information. 

Japanese Beetle Detected Outside of the BC Regulated Area

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has detected a small number of Japanese beetles outside of the Japanese beetle Regulated Area, within the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby. Japanese beetle detections outside of the Regulated Area are not unexpected, based on experiences in other jurisdictions with active Japanese beetle eradication programs. To help prevent the spread of this devastating pest, ISCBC is asking residents to stay alert and report all suspect beetles and signs of beetle feeding damage. You can also report suspect Japanese beetles to CFIA by calling 604-292-5742 or to (with insect photos when possible).

The response to a detection of Japanese beetle outside the Regulated Area will consider several factors, including:

  • Number of Japanese beetles found
  • Time of year of the detection
  • Geographic distribution of those detections

The Japanese beetle eradication response partners continue will continue to review the results of surveillance efforts to determine appropriate responses. These may include continued monitoring, movement controls and/or treatment in the vicinity of the detection locations. The results from this year’s survey will be posted on the CFIA’s website at the end of the year.