Recent Alerts

06-21-2017 10:35:57

Japanese beetle eradication project enters next phase

This information is from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Robin

Japanese beetle eradication project enters next phase
Treatment of residential area in Cedar Mill completed, traps are now placed

June 21, 2017… Backed by strong community support, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has completed the first step in a multi-year project to eradicate Japanese beetle from the Cedar Mill-Bonny Slope area of Washington County, just west of Portland. More than 2,400 residential properties have been treated with a granular insecticide that targets the larval stage of the invasive insect. Now comes the trapping phase and a new round of communication to area residents.

“Up to now, we’ve tried to contain our messaging around the treatment protocols and gain an understanding about the threat Japanese beetle poses to our urban and agricultural environments,” says Clint Burfitt, manager of ODA’s Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program. “Now we need to switch that messaging and talk about the fact that people will still be seeing beetles this summer, they are going to see traps placed in the area, and that this is a five-year project.”

In the weeks to come, adult beetles will lay eggs in areas treated by ODA. Grubs that hatch deep into treated turf will ingest the granular insecticide Acelepryn applied over the 1,000-acre area and not survive to complete another generational cycle. If all goes according to plan, subsequent annual treatments will become smaller until the entire population of Japanese beetle in the area is eradicated.

Burfitt suspects some people in the treatment zone may think this spring’s efforts have already done the job. But there could be just as many beetles visible to residents this year as there were last year, perhaps more. The truth is, a noticeable reduction in adult Japanese beetles should take place in 2018 and the years that follow.

“The insecticide we used is a larvicide, so it affects the next generation,”says Burfitt. “When the current generation of beetles emerge, they will mate and the females will plant their eggs in the turf grass. When those eggs hatch out, the newly emerged larvae will be very vulnerable to the insecticide.”

ODA was able to complete the project on time, despite a few rainy days that delayed application. The method of treatment did not include a spray or aerial application. The on-the-ground process looked very much like a lawn care company using a spreader to apply fertilizer as part of a routine service. Each property, generally, was treated within 15 minutes. In the end, more than 2,400 residential properties were treated with the reduced-risk product being applied only to turf grass in the area. Acelpryn has a track record of being safe, yet effective in other Japanese beetle eradication projects in the western states.

The applications were done by Beaverton-based General Tree Service under ODA’s supervision.

Trapping for Japanese beetle is underway. About 1,700 traps have been placed in and around the Cedar Mill infested area. Traps will help indicate any spread of the infestation and provide the necessary details for next year’s treatment.

In total, 7,500 Japanese beetle traps are being placed statewide this year.

“We trap throughout Oregon for Japanese beetle,” says Burfitt. “We have traps in Ontario. We have traps in Klamath Falls. Anywhere there is irrigated turf grass or whether there is a risk of the insect pest moving in, we put up traps.”

Another important part of the project is underway– ensuring that green waste that may provide harbor for Japanese beetle and its eggs is contained in a way that the pest doesn’t spread outside the current treatment zone. ODA is mailing out information to residents and initiating an outreach campaign to landscapers so that everyone understands how to handle waste that is moved from the area.

“The message is simple– utilize your green waste containers for your grass clippings,” says Burfitt. “That will go a long way in keeping this problem from spreading. Residents should also share that information with their landscaper, if they have one, and make sure the landscaper also utilizes green waste bins.”

Ultimately, grass clippings and other green waste will go to a landfill for deep burial.

A record-breaking 369 Japanese beetles were found in traps placed in the area last year as well as numerous live beetles found feeding on roses and other plants. Japanese beetle grubs can destroy turf. Adult beetles will feast on a wide variety of plant material including trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. It is a pest that can be destructive in yards and gardens, and is also subject to agricultural quarantine regulations.

Last September, ODA brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to help develop a communications process. Inclusiveness and transparency were listed as top values and became the defining objectives for communications and implementation of the eradication plan. A coalition of multiple state agencies, non-government organizations, homeowner associations, and individual community members each played a role in preparing residents for the treatment and enlisting support for thwarting the beetle.

That process will continue for the life of the project.

“This isn’t just an Oregon Department of Agriculture project, this is truly a community-based project,” says Burfitt. “We will continue to bring in stakeholders and have them talk about the next steps, including our successes and challenges. We will keep adapting the project based on the current information.”

By and large, most people living in the infested area of Cedar Mill understand that the choice boils down to doing something proactively now or living with Japanese beetle for life. A vast majority have enthusiastically voiced support for ridding the area of the pest and keeping it from establishing in other areas of Oregon.

“The fact that most people have been able to get around this issue and not only understand it, but also contribute to its success, is humbling,” says Burfitt.

Meanwhile, ODA will continue to keep a watchful eye on the traps this summer. With a successful first year of treatment now under its belt, the agency—and the neighbors—look forward to the day when the unwelcome pest is in the past.

For more information, contact Clint Burfitt at (503) 986-4663.


ODA Japanese beetle

06-19-2017 14:57:17

Macrosiphum rhamni on coffeeberry

For those growing Rhamnus sp. or coffeeberry, it might be a good time to check on populations of the aphid Macrosiphum rhamni. These aphids, and the ants tending them, were spotted a few days ago. Images and a little more informaton about them can be found at the link. Robin

Macrosiphum rhamni

06-19-2017 08:37:54

Weather update

Leave it to an entomologist to pick the vacation goal. Rufus at The Weather Café ® is on the Lightening Bug Tour but sends us pleasant weather ahead. Robin

Saturday June 17


Greetings from Indiana.  Our Lightening Bug Tour of the midwest is under way.  Is it a ReCation or FunCation when one has retired?  Either way, as we approach our 43rd Anniversary, Kay is getting to experience Fireflies (or, “Blinkies" as they say in Jamaica) for her first time.  What is this to do with weather?  Well, it explains why your forecast will be posted only once (today) until next Friday, and yes, weather plays a role in Firefly (Photinus spp.)activity - they like warm, humid evenings to get their ‘show’ going.  Now, fill up your weekend Mug and let’s peek ahead.


The cool, wet cycle of the past few days will now yield to a warmer, dry period, which could last until late Thu Jun 22.  Even then, most of the PNW will continue dry as that quick-moving cold front spins across NW WA & OR.  Odds are that much of OR will remain dry, with cloudiness being the key factor because of an notable onshore flow of marine air.  Patrons in central/eastern WA are likely to get some precipitation from the front by Fri, if it verifies (models inconsistent on this event).


The weekend of Jun 24,25 trends cooler than normal, with slight chance for showers by late Sunday over Vancouver Is. and Abbotsford/Lynden - mostly in the foothills.  Warmer heading out of the last weekend of June, with the next threat for moisture looks to develop over the last couple days of the month and into early July.  The ole’ Damp Fourth Syndrome may be in play again in 2017.  Well, too early to nail that down, so hope remains for great holiday weather.


From the flatlands,





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06-15-2017 09:34:33

Soil Solarization Open House

Head's up about a free workshop on Wednesday, June 28 to learn the latest results on soil solarization from collaborative research based here in Oregon. You don't want to miss this one.  Robin

What: Soil Solarization On-Farm Field Day

Who: For nursery growers, extension personnel, and other ag professionals

When: Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 10 am-12 noon (open house)

Where: J. Frank Schmidt and Son Co. nursery, 13355 SE Orient Dr., Boring, OR

Why:   Learn about soil solarization for PNW nurseries!

  • A tool for managing weeds and soilborne plant diseases without chemical pesticides
  • Reduce labor costs for handweeding
  • Walk through the 2016 OSU research trials and observe effects on weeds and tree seedlings
  • See a demonstration of plastic film-laying equipment (11 am)
  • Ask questions! Get answers! 

Brought to you by: Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, OSU Dept. of Crop and Soil Science, J. Frank Schmidt and Son, Co.


Registration is free, but please sign up

For more info see attached flyer or contact


Soil solarization open house

06-13-2017 14:46:23

European chafer mating flights

Head's up! Mating flights of European Chafer have been spotted in Washington State. More information is in the alert below from Todd Murray with WSU and at the link. European Chafer is not considered established here in Oregon but keep on the alert for it. Sometimes this system does not link embedded links. You may have to cut and paste should that be the case. Robin


Washington Pest Watchers,


The European Chafer, a newly introduced beetle, is in the adult stage and performing evening mating flights.  Please keep on the lookout. We have only identified this beetle from the SeaTac and Tukwila areas in King County, south of Seattle.


These mating flights are obvious when populations are high. Adult male beetles swarm around a resting female that selects a mating spot. Swarms can be quite large. Criteria for this mating spot includes an object that creates a dark silhouette, such as a tree or shrub or house or person, against the sky just after sunset as the red wavelengths bend around the horizon. Sound romantic, eh?


European Chafers are highly destructive turf pests. Visit the following for more information.


If you see beetles outside of the Tukwila and SeaTac area, please submit a sample to your local MG Clinic or the WSU Puyallup Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory


You can also report the sighting using the Washington State Invasive Species APP!


Todd A. Murray

Director, Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension Program Unit

Washington State University College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Hulbert Hall, Room 411

PO Box 646248, Pullman, WA 99164-6248

509-335-8744 / FAX: 509-335-2926

WSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.


European chafer fact sheet

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