Treatment for invasive Japanese beetle set to begin in parks
The Vancouver Park Board is set to begin larvicide treatment to eradicate Japanese beetle larvae in more than 30 parks, boulevards, medians, and other city land beginning April 6.
The BC Ministry of Agriculture, served the City of Vancouver and the Park Board with a Notice of Requirement to Treat on March 20.
Treatment will begin at David Lam Park and continue for seven weeks at parks in the West End, Downtown, Strathcona, Mount Pleasant, Fairview and Kitsilano neighbourhoods.
In addition to mandatory treatment areas, the Park Board might also treat Quilchena, Prince of Wales, and Carnarvon parks due to finding a single beetle near each of these parks last year. Approximately 50 hectares of City and park lands will be treated.
This is the third year in a row that the Park Board has treated city parks and lands. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) performs adult beetle trapping throughout the summer to monitor the population and determine how successful treatment has been. Last year, the treatment program saw more than 85% reduction in beetle catches from 2018.
Avoid parks and green spaces during treatment
Residents are asked to avoid parks and green spaces during treatment. There will be Park Board staff and signage at each site advising people of what’s happening and to ensure they and their pets keep off the grass.
The CFIA, BC Ministry of Agriculture, City of Vancouver, Park Board, Invasive Species Council of BC, and BC Landscape and Nursery Association have been working together on a response to the Japanese beetle incursion since 2017 when the insect was first discovered in False Creek. Japanese beetles can significantly damage turf, landscape and ornamental plants, fruit and vegetable gardens, nurseries, orchards, and agricultural crops.
Staff will treat large public turf areas and small strips of grass around flower beds, shrubs and trees. Other public turf areas such as medians and boulevards will also be treated.
About the treatment
Treatment consists of applying Acelepryn directly to the soil, which targets root eating grubs, and will not impact people, pets, mammals, birds, bees, butterflies or other animals. In David Lam Park, a bio-insecticide called beetleGONE! will also be applied to landscape plants and tree foliage in to control adult beetles feeding on these plants. beetleGONE! is based on a naturally occurring bacteria found in soil that becomes toxic once ingested by beetles.
Both products are approved for use by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Health Canada and are also permitted under the City of Vancouver’s Health Bylaw. All treatments will be applied manually by trained pest management specialists.
It is anticipated that treatment will continue for several more years.
Regulated area for Japanese beetle
The CFIA has established a regulated area for Japanese beetle around False Creek. Until further notice, the movement of plant material and soil out of the regulated area is restricted to prevent movement of the beetles to new areas. Residents living in the regulated area can continue to use their municipal green bins to dispose of permitted materials.
Temporary transfer station
Again this year, the City will be opening a temporary transfer station at West 1st Avenue and Wylie Street where residents and commercial landscapers working in the Japanese beetle impacted neighbourhoods can deposit green waste, prunings, lawn clippings, and small amounts of soil and plants with soil.
The station is currently scheduled to open June 15 to October 15. Larger amounts of soil or plant material must be issued a CFIA movement certificate before being transported for disposal outside the regulated area.