Beetle mania: Vancouver wages war against invasive pest

Spraying for Japanese beetle starts Sunday

The war against the Japanese beetle is on.

The city started spraying parks and public property in the False Creek area on June 5, starting with the lawn next to Roundhouse Community Centre.

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The Japanese beetle, an invasive pest that can significantly damage plants, gardens and agricultural crops, was first discovered in David Lam Park last summer. The insect was detected of the traps set in the city by the agency — the traps are set as part of the agency’s routine surveillance for the pest. As a result, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency set an additional 800 traps around the city and found more beetles. Approximately 950 were found in 42 traps with the majority, about 90 per cent, found in David Lam Park.

The park is next up for treatment with spraying scheduled to take place on Sunday and Monday.

Eight more parks in the False Creek are set for treatment with the larvacide, including:

  • Emery Barns – June 13
  • May & Lorne Brown – June 14
  • Thornton – June 15
  • Charleson – June 17-20
  • Sutcliffe – June 22
  • Coopers’ – June 25
  • George Wainborn – June 26
  • CRAB (at Portside) – June 27-28

All areas will be sprayed with a larvacide called Acelepryn.

Dr. Jane Pritchard, director of plant and animal health, and chief veterinary officer with the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, said last month Acelepryn “has a very low environmental impact and is very safe… It will only actually kill the grubs or larvae that are in the soil eating the roots of turf grass,” she said, adding it will not affect people, pets, mammals, birds, bees or other animals.

Parks will not be closed but residents are advised to stay off the grass for 24 hours after spraying to give the larvacide a chance to take effect.

Howard Normann, director of parks, said signs will be posted at effected parks and staff will be on hand to explain the procedure and answer any questions.

Spraying will take place between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

@JessicaEKerr

jkerr@vancourier.com

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