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Invasive beetles found in Sacramento area pose a ‘serious threat.’ Have you seen them?

In World
June 08, 2024

Invasive beetles have been spotted in the Carmichael area, Sacramento County announced on Thursday.

State and county officials are on the lookout for Japanese beetles, which are considered pests.

“Japanese beetles can damage over 300 species of ornamental, horticultural, agricultural and native plants, posing a serious threat to our state’s agriculture, environment, and your backyard,” the county said in its social media post.

According to its announcement, officials will be setting and assessing bug traps, conducting visual surveys and performing treatments to eliminate the beetles in the Sacramento area.

What are Japanese beetles?

While many beetles may look similar, Japanese beetles are known for their metallic green thoraxes, the section of the body between the head and abdomen, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The beetles also have brown wings and white hairs.

An oval-shaped bug, an adult Japanese beetle typically measures about half an inch long and a quarter of an inch wide, the Food and Agriculture Department said.

Why are insects invasive? How do they come to the US?

Japanese beetles aren’t native to the United States, the state Department of Food and Agriculture said on its website.

“Like many invasive species, Japanese beetles outside of their native habitat do not have natural enemies in the United States to balance out and stabilize their population,” the agency said.

The insects are considered a threat to the state’s industries, including turf grass, nurseries and specialty crops.

Generally, Japanese beetles enter an environment via infected potted plants.

According to the department, the beetles’ eggs and larvae live in the soil and can be easily transported.

Additionally, the insects can enter California from airplanes that have been in areas with Japanese beetle infestations.

What should you do if you see pests?

The county is asking people to report sightings of Japanese beetles.

You can call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Exotic Pest Hotline at 1-800-491-1899.

You can also email photos of the bugs and the location of the sighting to pesthotline@cdfa.ca.gov.

Sacramento County advises people to be on the lookout the beetles, especially if you have a rose bush nearby.

Roses are “a preferred host” for the insects, the county said.

What do you want to know about life in Sacramento? Ask our service journalism team your top-of-mind questions in the module below or email servicejournalists@sacbee.com.

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