To say that the Japanese beetle is ubiquitous is to state the obvious. The armor-plated beetle was first detected in the United States in a nursery near Riverton, New Jersey, way back in 1916. Well, here it is, 2016, and the little beast is just as ravenous as ever. We’re not interested in celebrating 100 years of Popillia japonica, but we’ll observe its presence and announce that there’s a new outbreak in Washington County, Oregon, within the city of Portland. That’s Portland, known as “Rose City.” That’s rose, as in one of Japanese beetle’s favorite meals.
Read more: 100 Years of Japanese Beetle
According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), a record number of Japanese beetles have been recorded in Portland this summer; as of late August, the department’s traps yielded 265 specimens. That doesn’t account for the myriad sightings of live beetles munching away on the city’s prized roses, as well as numerous other plants. All of this leads the ODA to declare, “The evidence suggests a breeding population of the non-native insect has been established.”
This is not the first recorded confirmation of Japanese beetle in Oregon, not by a long shot. The ODA states, “In the past, Japanese beetle has made its way into Oregon through air cargo carriers with multiple detections over the years near Portland International Airport. In recent years, ODA has conducted eradication projects in residential areas of Portland and Cave Junction. No eradication plans have been made yet in response to the most recent outbreak. ODA will continue to trap for Japanese beetles in hopes of pinpointing the location of the breeding population and potential treatment next year.”
Read more: How to Beat the Beetles