Washington prepares against invasive rose- and hop-eating beetle

The Grandview Rose Garden is one of the first things people see as they enter the eastern part of Grandview in Yakima County.  The garden, which features some 100 rose varieties, is a popular stop for those walking and biking along the Lower Yakima Valley Pathway, a trail that connects Grandview with two other cities — Sunnyside to the west in Yakima County and Prosser to the east in Benton County.
It’s a common gathering place — its gazebo is a venue for weddings and quinceañeras.

But the garden’s bounty has attracted an unwelcome visitor: the Japanese beetle.  Ray Vining, who has lived in Grandview for several decades and volunteers at the garden, first heard about the invasive species two years ago through reports of damaged rose bushes and gardens in the area. The first beetle specimens in Grandview were also found on Wine Country Road, close to the rose garden. 

Several beetles were collected in a trap installed within the garden a year later. Those collected specimens would be among the thousands spotted in the city of more than 11,000 people. Thankfully, there has yet to be any damage to the garden, and Vining and other volunteers want to keep it that way. 

That’s the hope of the Washington State Department of Agriculture, which is undertaking a multimillion, multiyear trapping, quarantining and eradication process to get rid of the beetle, which originated in Japan and made its presence first known in the eastern U.S. in the early 19th century.  “Because it’s an invasive species,  they can grow and multiply quickly and cause excessive damage,” Vining said.

Read the complete article at www.crosscut.com.

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