The Japanese beetle is an invasive species that’s terrorized parts of the front range and now the department of agriculture has discovered them here on the western slope. Nursery specialist mona dyer of Bookcliff Gardens tells me, “They suspect it may have come in perhaps on some random sod.”

However it got here, last year’s traps found several Japanese beetles in mesa county despite local agriculture taking serious measures to prevent the invasive species. If the pest manages to populate the area it could be bad for gardeners and catastrophic for farmers.

Dyer told me the pest eats more than 300 types of plants particularly rose bushes and grapes, but it can be stopped if valley residents work together. Mesa county is taking the lead, reaching out to people in the hot zone in northern grand junction and offering free treatment, but dyer tells me anyone with a yard can help.

Dyer says, “In April and May, people who live outside the hot zone can help in the fight simply by treating against beetles in their lawns.” She says the chemical used to treat them is called Acelepryn® and it can be found in many pesticides. Book cliff gardens is making it easy for you to get it, “Here at book cliff we have made the conscious decision to sell it at just a little bit above cost.

Working together may stop Japanese beetles in their tracks but it won’t be an instant fix. Dyer tells me full eradication could take years.

 If you have any questions reach out to the Japanese Beetle Phone Tree:  (970) 248-7000