Japanese beetle located in Richland, extending Eastern WA infestation

RICHLAND, Wash. — Agriculture officials announced that the Japenese beetle infestation sweeping Washington state has recently extended from Grandview to the Tri-Cities as of Thursday afternoon.

According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), the beetle sighting was confirmed more than 35 miles east of the infestation quarantine zone on July 28, 2022. A pest trapper for the WSDA conducted a routine check on a Richland property and was surprised to see a Japanese beetle so far from Grandview.

Extra traps were set up across the area to search for more beetles. Furthermore, another invasive Japanese beetle was found in Wapato, approx. 30 miles west of Grandview.

RELATED: Japanese beetles spotted in Grandview for the first time in 2022

With this being the case, detections have officially extended across 65+ miles of the I-82 coridor, which remains a critical roadway for the region and much of the state’s rich agriculture. This development has serious implications about the growth of this infestation, according to Japanese beetle eradication project coordinator Camilo Acosta.

“Finding two detections so far from the original grid in two separate directions suggests the Japanese beetle population is spreading very quickly,” Acosta said. “The longer the invasive pest continues to thrive here, the more difficult and expensive it will be to control.”

Agriculture leaders ask that community members in Yakima, Benton and Franklin counties report any beetle sighting by snapping a photo and submitting it here.

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