2018 British Columbia Japanese beetle survey report

Background

Japanese beetle is an invasive, regulated plant pest that was first introduced to eastern North America from Japan in 1916. This insect can significantly damage landscape plants, ornamental plants, fruit and vegetable gardens, nurseries, orchards, and agricultural crops. Japanese beetle larvae feed on the roots of turf grass and other plants. The adult beetles are also heavy feeders, attacking the flowers, foliage and fruit of more than 250 plant species, including roses, blueberries and grapevines.

The directive D-96-15: Phytosanitary requirements to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, in Canada and the United States contains the phytosanitary requirements intended to prevent the human-assisted spread of Japanese beetle by regulating the movement of plants and other articles within Canada as well as the import and export of plants with soil between Canada and the continental United States and Hawaii. Canada and the United States have adopted a harmonized approach to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle and this directive aims to ensure that the risk of introduction of Japanese beetle to non-infested areas of Canada and the United States is mitigated.

Pest status in Canada

The provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are considered infested with Japanese beetle and movement of regulated articles from these areas to other parts of Canada must meet certain requirements to prevent further spread. Newfoundland and Labrador are areas of low pest prevalence and the Prairie provinces, and territories are not known to be infested. The province of British Columbia (BC) is considered a pest free area, based on annual Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) surveys. It was through this annual surveillance that Japanese beetle was detected for the first time in BC in July 2017. Additional surveillance confirmed that the pest is present in the False Creek area of the city of Vancouver and it is under active eradication.

Pest status in British Columbia

The CFIA, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, City of Vancouver, industry and non-governmental stakeholders are working together to respond to the detection of Japanese beetle. The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture is leading the coordinated effort to eradicate Japanese beetle from the city of Vancouver. The CFIA has established a regulated area for Japanese beetle and has implemented movement controls to slow the human-assisted spread of this insect outside the regulated area and to support the province's eradication effort. Outside of the regulated area in Vancouver, the rest of BC is still considered a pest free area.

Japanese beetle survey methodology

Figure 1. Japanese Beetle Trap
Figure 1. Japanese Beetle Trap

The Japanese beetle survey is a trapping program designed to detect incursions of adult Japanese beetle in BC. The survey is conducted using a Japanese beetle trap (see Figure 1) consisting of a yellow or green coloured vane which holds a floral and pheromone lure as well as a small container to capture beetles. Traps are placed based on a systematic grid throughout the urban areas of the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and at potential high risk introduction spots. Traps are also placed on Vancouver Island and the in BC interior. Traps are placed in early June, serviced every three weeks, and taken down in mid-October. The CFIA Japanese beetle survey provides critical information to the Province of BC who is overseeing treatments on public lands where Japanese beetle has been detected.

2017 Japanese beetle BC survey results

As a result of detecting Japanese beetle in the False Creek area of Vancouver in 2017, the CFIA carried out enhanced surveillance for Japanese beetle in BC. The CFIA placed 1,425 traps (see Figure 2) throughout the province but most traps were placed in the City of Vancouver to delimit the False Creek detections and the single detection on the University of British Columbia campus. The rest of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley saw increases in normal trap density to see if Japanese beetle was present in these areas too. A total of 958 Japanese beetle in 42 traps were found with approximately 90% of beetles found in and around David Lam Park adjacent to False Creek (see Table 1).

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Figure 2. 2017 Japanese beetle trap distribution and positive detections in Vancouver, BC. Description follows.

Figure 2. 2017 Japanese beetle trap distribution and positive detections in Vancouver, BC.

The map shows southern British Columbia, from Prince George to the border with the United States and trap locations for 2017 are identified using blue triangles for the negative sites and red circles for positive sites. In 2017, positives sites have been found in the Vancouver area only. An insert map shows the details of the positive locations in Vancouver.

Table 1. Japanese beetle trapping results in BC in the last nine years
Year Number of Japanese beetle traps placed Result
(Number of Japanese beetle detections)
2010 545 detection traps No Detections
2011 282 detection traps No Detections
2012 331 detection traps No Detections
2013 278 detection traps No Detections
2014 367 detection traps No Detections
2015 442 detection traps No Detections
2016 505 detection traps No Detections
2017 1425 detection and delimitation traps 958 in 42 traps
2018 2088 detection and delimitation traps 8276 in 98 traps

2018 CFIA Japanese beetle survey in BC

In spring 2018, the Province of BC decided to attempt an eradication of Japanese beetle in Vancouver and the CFIA supported this effort through enhanced surveillance and implementation of movement restrictions for plants and soil to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle life stages.Additionally the CFIA and its partners conducted extensive outreach with the public and stakeholders to encourage reporting of suspect beetles and compliance with the movement restrictions.

Traps were placed based on the 2018 survey plan (see Figure 3) and consisted of traps placed at the same locations as 2017 positive traps and throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley at various densities based on distances from 2017 positives. In addition, a delimitation survey was placed around the singleton positive trap on the University of British Columbia campus. Additional traps were placed around new positives detected outside of the regulated area if there was a high likelihood of adult beetles still flying. In these cases, high numbers of traps were placed around the positive trap strategically in areas of suitable turf sites.

2018 Japanese beetle survey results in BC

The 2018 Japanese beetle survey began on May 23. A total of 1,888 traps were placed from Whistler to Hope and checked six times from June to September. Traps around David Lam Park and high risk spots were checked more frequently. One hundred traps each were placed on Vancouver Island and in the BC interior. There were a total of 56 traps found missing during the survey, some of these were replaced and some were relocated to prevent additional vandalism. The first and last Japanese beetle detections were collected on June 18 and November 5, respectively, near David Lam Park, in False Creek. A total of 8,276 beetles were caught from 98 traps (see Table 2 for a breakdown of traps in the various trapping areas and figure 4 for a map of the positive Japanese beetle detections). Of the total beetles caught, 12 were from three above-ground traps located up to the third floor in height. This increase in beetles from 2017 to 2018 was expected because treatments applied by the province and the City of Vancouver in 2018 target the next generation of developing larvae therefore beetle reductions are anticipated for 2019. The CFIA detected 13 Japanese beetle in 10 traps outside of the regulated area, nine traps in the city of Vancouver and one trap in south Delta. In 2018, peak flight appeared to be from July 16-20. Approximately 96% of all the Japanese beetles were caught in four parks adjacent to False Creek in the centre of the regulated area suggesting the incursion is still centralized. Two new detections were around works yards in Vancouver, one in and one outside the regulated area. Both sites handle green waste and this suggests the beetles may be moving with plant debris or vehicles. The detection in Delta may be similar to what we saw in 2017 at UBC, both were singleton traps followed up with a delimitation survey and had no subsequent detection. These two positive sites may have originated via a "hitchhiking pathway".

Continued surveillance throughout BC will be carried out in 2019 by the CFIA.

Table 2. Japanese beetle detections in the 2018 surveillance program.
Trapping locations within BC Number of Japanese beetle traps placed Result
(Number of Japanese beetle detections)
Regulated area (within City of Vancouver) 381 8261 in 88 traps
Outside regulated area (but within City of Vancouver) 382 12 in 9 traps
Outside City of Vancouver (but within Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley – includes Whistler and Sea to Sky Highway) 1125 1 in 1 trap
Vancouver Island 100 0
BC Interior 100 0
Total 2088 8274 in 98 traps

Click on image for larger view
Figure 3. Japanese beetle trap distribution throughout BC in 2018. Description follows.

Figure 3. Japanese beetle trap distribution throughout BC in 2018.

The map shows southern British Columbia, from north of Kamloops to the border with the United States and trap locations for 2018 are identified using green triangles for the negative sites and red triangles for positive sites. In 2018, positives sites have been found in the Vancouver area only. Two insert map shows the details of the positive locations in Vancouver.

Click on image for larger view
Figure 4. 2018 positive detections of Japanese beetle in Lower Mainland BC. Description follows.

Figure 4. 2018 positive detections of Japanese beetle in Lower Mainland BC.

The map shows the Lower Mainland, in British Columbia and trap locations in that area for 2018 are identified using blue circles for the negative sites and red circles for positive sites. The regulated area for Japanese beetle is represented by a zone with a pattern of red diagonals. In 2018, positives sites have been found in the Vancouver area only. One insert map on the top left shows details of trap locations north of the Lower Mainland and one insert map on the top right shows the details of the positive locations in Vancouver.

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