KPU Campus News – WCTA Conference Stories from KPU Turf Students

It was a privilege to be a part of the 2018 WCTA conference – to see familiar faces and have the opportunity to meet new members. I am proud to be a part of the Kwantlen Turf Club, and always look forward to opportunities where I can help to raise money and awareness for WCTA research that benefits our industry. 

Although I spent some time with volunteer activities, I was able to partake in seminars that furthered my education in areas that I will face in my career. As we made our way through the trade show, many members of the WCTA were willing to spare some time and money to buy fundraising raffle tickets and allow us to share our fundraising plans with them. I am honored to be a part of the turf community.

Ksenia Thurston, KPU Turf Club Member, WCTA Member


My first WCTA conference was a whirlwind of events and interactions. Serving as a volunteer, attending as many presentations as possible while taking brief respites to take turns behind the KPU booth made for a busy few days!  However some of the people I met and ideas that I encountered helped expand my turf universe. I really enjoyed TJ’s presentation on Google forms and will definitely be using a similar system in my future.  The MLSN was a concept that I found to be extremely interesting and look forward to its continued development. Thanks to everyone that made it such a warm and inviting environment and looking forward to being back at the Riverrock next year!

Duncan Longridge, KPU Turf Club Member, WCTA Member


I enjoyed attending this year’s conference at a great new venue – the beautiful and accessible River Rock Casino - as a WCTA student member and Kwantlen Turf Club volunteer.  It gave me the chance to renew acquaintances with other members, superintendents, industry professionals, and past Turf Club students, and of course meet many new members and industry mavens.  I really enjoy chatting to staff from other golf courses, sports turf fields and parks about issues they’ve been experiencing, as it challenges me to think about how to apply my KPU Turf Management education to real-life issues specific to our region.  And the educational component was perfect as usual, as the great speakers lined up with appropriate topics of concern in our industry.

The balanced combination of fun and educational events, and the opportunity to assist as a student volunteer “behind the screens”, creates such a valuable and enjoyable experience for someone new to the industry.  It was a pleasure to attend and meet so many great people!  And for those who allowed us to pester you with WCTA and Kwantlen Turf Club fundraising activities in the midst of all the activity – a huge thank you!  Your generosity will be remembered!

Carolyn Reitzel, KPU Turf Club Member, WCTA, STC, CGSA Member


WCTA Pesticide CEC Track Session, Friday, February 16: Japanese Beetle Detected
David Holden, Canada Food Inspection Agency

Dave Holden, a Plant Health Survey Biologist for Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Western Area, held a 30 minute seminar on the Japanese Beetle during the 55th Annual WCTA Conference, which I was happy to sit in and learn from.  

This pest is native to Japan and was introduced to North America at a nursery in New Jersey, USA, in 1916.  It spread to become a full infestation in Eastern Canada the USA, and is now being found in B.C.  It was reported that on July 9th, 2017, it was found near Science World in Vancouver, and is now well established around False Creek.  The first step in managing this pest will be to monitor it with traps and data collection. 

The Japanese beetle is like the European Chafer beetle in many ways and can be mistaken for it, if you do not know how to identify it.  In the larval stage, the Japanese Beetle’s mandibles are less “scary looking" than the Chafers Beetle’s mandibles, as seen through a 10x magnification lens.  Under a microscope the both species can be identified by the hair patterns on their rasters: the Japanese Beetle’s pattern is a small "v" shape, and the Chafer’s is a long "Y" shape.  In Japanese Beetle adults, the 12 tufts of white hair along the lateral edge of the beetle, along with its shiny green body and rusty brown wings, further help to identify it.

Differences between male and female Japanese beetles can be seen by comparing their tibia: males have spikes for grasping during reproduction, females have spoon-like paddlers for digging when laying eggs (30-60 each year). The female beetle lays eggs in July in moist soil, such as a garden bed.  Both beetles enjoys rose plants and will feed on plants in the sunlight while leaving shaded plants alone.  

One large difference between Chafer and Japanese Beetles is the Japanese beetle will feed as a adult, while the Chafer does not.  Both beetles are very active above 21 degrees Celsius and less active at cooler temperature. Temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius is lethal to both pests.  

Japanese beetles are very good hitchhikers, so are difficult to scout and monitor.  Right now awareness is the best pest management tool until further findings and information can be collected. 

If you find a Japanese beetle, please contact the Canadian Food Inspection agency at 604.292.5700 or through

Reported by Josh Carlsen, Past KPU Turf Club President, WCTA, STC Member

KPU Turf Club L-R: Carolyn Reitzel, Corey Hewlet, Josh Crandall, Brennan Lessick, Josh Carlsen, Peter Sorokovsky, Duncan Longridge (Ksenia Thurston missing)