Project Leader: Brant Harrison, Chairman Palisade Japanese Beetle Eradication Advisory Committee
Project Years: 2004, 2005
The Japanese beetle is one of the most damaging insect pests of ornamental plants, turf grass, and fruit crops in the northeastern United States . A population of this insect has become established in Palisade, Colorado . It was detected in 2002 and confirmed in 2003. Because Colorado is considered Japanese beetle-infested, special cultural and insecticidal methods must be made to allow shipment. Some material may not be exported out of the state at all. This insect has taken a toll on grape and peach crops, especially and is very difficult to control of organically. Eradication of Japanese beetles from the Palisade area is essential in stopping its spread to other agricultural areas in Colorado .
There is a three-pronged approach to the initial plan of Japanese beetle eradication:
- Intensive trapping of adult beetles
- Treatment of lawns to kill larvae
- Reduction of lawn watering to kill eggs and larvae
To put this project into action in 2004, permission had to be gained from all residents within city limits for the project coordinator to enter property and place traps and apply pesticides (granular imidacloprid, Merit). Out of 712 properties, 711 gave permission for the eradication of the beetles.
The initial project was very successful. The second year of trapping was done during the 2005 growing season. As in 2004, permission was sought from all residents in town with turf grass. Permission was granted and 418 traps were set at locations as close as possible to the 2004 locations. All procedures were the same as 2004, but a different company applied the pesticide treatments. This project was again, very successful in 2005 and monitoring will continue.
The success of this program should help specialty crop growers to reduce production costs and increase access to out-of-state markets; eliminate future control costs associated with Japanese beetles; and serve as a model for attempts to limit introduction into the state of other exotic pests that can hinder specialty crop production.