Regulated Areas to Stop Spread of Japanese Beetle Expanded for 2023

Liam Britten · CBC News · Posted: Jun 27, 2023 2:33 PM PDT | Last Updated: June 27

Invasive pest was first detected in Vancouver's False Creek area in 2017

The City of Vancouver is trying to prevent the spread of Japanese beetles, which eats the leaves of plants and can kill them.

Regulated areas to prevent the spread of invasive Japanese beetle have been expanded or introduced in several Metro Vancouver cities as the pest begins its flying season.

This spring, the regulated area for Vancouver, first established in 2018, has been expanded mostly to the south through the Dundar and Kerrisdale neighbourhoods. 

Burnaby's area has expanded slightly west through Deer Lake Park and along the Lougheed Highway. 

A new regulated area has been added covering much of Port Coquitlam and a small part of Coquitlam.

A map from the CFIA website shows beetle control areas as of 2023. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

Regulated areas are marked in response to beetle sightings, which have spread further afield over the years.

"It's not unusual to find beetles outside of regulated areas," said Jason Crandall, a CFIA inspection advisor. "But because of the number that we found, it seemed prudent to expand those areas."

Japanese beetles are known to leave behind a trail of damage. The invasive pest was found in Vancouver's False Creek neighbourhood in 2017, and the affected area has been growing steadily since. (The Associated Press)

Plants with soil on them cannot be moved out of those areas without a CFIA permit. In previous years, neither soil nor plant material could be removed.

Maps of the regulated areas available on the CFIA website.

First detected in 2017

The invasive pest was first detected in Vancouver's False Creek area in 2017.

The iridescent copper and green coloured beetle can significantly damage landscape and ornamental plants, fruit and vegetable gardens, nurseries, orchards and crops.

A statement from the City of Vancouver says landscapers and residents are encouraged to keep their plant materials on site and continue to use their green bins for yard trimmings.

Efforts to knock down invasive Japanese beetle in Vancouver appear to be working

Those who want to move plants with soil attached out of the regulation area will need to contact the inspection agency to obtain a free movement certificate.

Crandall said the goal is to eradicate the pest from B.C. While the bugs are being detected further east than before, numbers detected in traps have come way down.

They are very ravenous': How you can help stop the spread of Japanese beetle

In 2018, 2,088 CFIA traps caught 8,276 beetles. Last year, 5,928 traps caught a mere 201.

Crandall urges people living in the regulated areas to report any sightings of the Japanese beetle and to follow the rules on moving plant matter.

"None of these controls really work without the voluntary compliance of everybody involved," he said. "It's super important."