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2019 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.

The Japanese beetle Infested Place Order for the city of Vancouver in the Province of British Columbia came into effect on February 27, 2019 and created a regulated area from which soil cannot leave without written permission from CFIA due to the year-round presence of Japanese beetle larvae. Additionally, from June 15 to October 15 the Order provides the authority to restrict the movement of above-ground plant parts that are likely to be infested with adult Japanese beetle.

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 area (except for a small area around False Creek in Vancouver), 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 locations such as green waste disposal sites. Traps are also placed on Vancouver Island and the in BC interior. Traps are placed starting in mid-May, serviced every three weeks, and taken down in late-October. The CFIA Japanese beetle survey provides critical information to the Province of BC and the City of Vancouver who are overseeing treatments on public and private lands where Japanese beetle has been detected.

Japanese beetle detection history in the City of Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia

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 in 2018 and 2019. In 2017, 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 were monitored at a relatively higher trap density to see if Japanese beetle was present in these areas too. In 2017, 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).

Click on image for larger view
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 ten 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
2019 2344 detection and delimitation traps 1157 in 51 traps

2018 CFIA Japanese beetle survey in BC

In spring 2018, the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and partners 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 from the regulated area to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle life stages. Additionally the CFIA, City of Vancouver, Invasive Species Council of BC, BC Landscape and Nursery Association, MetroVancouver Regional District and other partners conducted extensive outreach with the public and stakeholders to encourage reporting of suspect beetles and compliance with the movement restrictions.

Traps were 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.

A total of 2,088 traps were placed throughout the Province, 8,276 beetles were captured (See figure 3) and the majority were again found around False Creek. This increase in beetles from 2017 to 2018 was expected because treatments applied by the province and the City of Vancouver in 2018 targeted the next generation of developing larvae. The CFIA detected JB in 12 traps outside the regulated area but still within the city of Vancouver. A single beetle was also found in south Delta.

In early 2019, the JB regulated area was expanded to include downtown Vancouver, the West End, Stanley Park, and part of Kits Point near Vanier Park.

Click on image for larger view
Figure 3. 2018 Japanese beetle positive detection sites. Description follows.

Figure 3. 2018 Japanese beetle positive detection sites

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.

2019 Japanese beetle survey results in BC

The 2019 Japanese beetle survey began on May 7. A total of 2,344 traps were placed throughout the Province and checked at least six times from June to October. The highest density of traps was placed in the City of Vancouver. Traps around David Lam Park and high risk spots were checked more frequently. A total of 220 traps went missing during the survey, some of these were replaced and some were relocated to prevent additional vandalism. Missing traps continues to be a challenge and increased cost of surveillance.

The first and last Japanese beetle detections were on June 11 and October 7, respectively. A total of 1157 beetles were caught in 51 traps (see figure 4), an 86% reduction in captures from last year. One beetle this year (12 last year) was from an above-ground trap indicating that above ground turf should be treated when present. This decrease in beetles from 2018 to 2019 was expected because of treatment effects from last year's spray program. The CFIA detected 4 Japanese beetles in 4 traps outside of the regulated area and 2 beetles outside the treatment area but still within the regulated area (see table 2). There were no beetles detected around the 2018 positive trap in Delta and the 2017 detection at UBC. In 2018, peak flight appeared to be from July 16-20 whereas in 2019 it was from July 29 to Aug 9, a slightly later shift likely due to optimal temperatures at that time. Similar to 2018, 96.2% of all the Japanese beetles were caught in four parks adjacent to False Creek in the centre of the regulated area and 91.9% were found in David Lam Park suggesting the incursion is still very centralized.

The CFIA plans to continue with enhanced JB surveillance throughout BC in 2020.

Click on image for larger view
Figure 4. 2019 Japanese beetle survey results in BC. Description follows.

Figure 4. 2019 Japanese beetle survey results in BC

The map shows the Lower Mainland, in British Columbia and trap locations in that area for 2019 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 2019, positives sites have been found in the Vancouver area only. The insert map shows the details of the positive locations in Vancouver.

Table 2. Japanese beetle detections in the 2019 surveillance program.
Trapping locations within BC Number of Japanese beetle traps placed Result
(number of Japanese beetle detections)
Regulated area (within City of Vancouver) 388 1153
Outside regulated area (but within City of Vancouver) 657 4
Outside City of Vancouver (but within Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley – includes Whistler and Sea to Sky Highway) 1099 0
Vancouver Island 100 0
BC Interior 100 0
Total 2344 1157 in 51 traps
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