First strike against invasive beetle starts soon

Mesa County has a plan to tackle the beetle problem, and it involves a lot of pesticide.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 4:19 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Japanese beetles present a potential threat to the agricultural industry of western Colorado, but local nurseries, industry leaders, and gardens are doing what they can to protect their plants from the invasive insect.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture, Mesa County Weed & Pest Control, and CSU Tri-River Extension are all working against the beetle, laying down plans to disrupt its life cycle during its most vulnerable stage.

If your home or business lies within the hot zone, you will likely get a letter from Mesa County soon asking for permission to spray lawns at no charge as part of eradication efforts.

The Japanese Beetle Heat Map provided by Mesa County.
The Japanese Beetle Heat Map provided by Mesa County.(Mesa County)

Experts put the flight range of Japanese beetles at around five miles, so control teams plan to hit the beetles with the pesticide Acelepryn during their slow, ground-bound grub stage.

Used correctly, Mesa County says the pesticide is considered safe around humans, pets, birds, bees, and other pollinators.