Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Help detect and prevent Japanese beetle spread

Cassie Cichorz
WSDA Pest Program

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is asking the public to help prevent the spread of Japanese beetle.  

Japanese beetle is a non-native pest that feeds on over 300 plants by skeletonizing leaves. Their larvae feed on plant roots below the surface. Japanese beetles can lay many eggs in a cycle, making them difficult to control or eradicate. Japanese beetle would pose a serious threat to farms, gardens, and the environment if they became established in Washington State.

In Grandview, a resident reported picking as many as 75 beetles from her roses in a single day in 2020. WSDA trapped over 24,000 beetles in the same area in 2021. WSDA is conducting an eradication of this pest and is asking residents to respond by reporting, trapping, and providing treatment consent. 

What can you do?

If you are in Washington, you can monitor for this pest by being on the lookout. If you see Japanese beetle, please report it! 

Adults – seen in summer

  • 1/3 – ½ inch long
  • Metallic green head and thorax
  • Copper wing covers

Larvae (grubs) – seen in spring

  • 1/8 – 1 inch long
  • Brown/tan head with legs
  • Found in soil, especially in lawns

Take a picture of the pest, and note the location. Then visit our online reporting form to upload. You can also report by email at PestProgram@agr.wa.gov, or call 1-800-443-6684. 

If you reside in Grandview, you only need to report when trapping for beetles. 

Yakima and Benton County residents

In addition to monitoring and reporting for Japanese beetle, you can trap beetles yourself!

Trapping will catch adult beetles, which can lower their current population, and is another way to control this pest. A wide variety of traps are available for purchase, or you can make one yourself. 

Japanese beetle drop-off container in Grandview

WSDA suggests placing traps from mid-May through mid-October when the adult beetles are active. When placing a trap, remember to keep it on your property. Make sure to check your trap periodically and replace as needed. 

If you capture any beetles, please report them. You can report by leaving the catch at the drop-off location, or sending in a report.

If you live near Grandview, a drop-off cooler has been placed inside Blehyl Co-op at 940 E Wine Country Road. The cooler is located inside the entrance of the store on the left. Please write the trap’s address on your collection.

If you are not near the drop-off location, take a picture of your trap capture and note the trap’s location. Then upload that information to our online reporting form, email PestProgram@agr.wa.gov, or call 1-800-443-6684.

Treatment area residents

If you live in or around the Grandview area, you may be inside the 49-square-mile treatment zone. You can help prevent the spread of Japanese beetles by not moving items on which they can travel and spread. 

Japanese beetle eggs and larvae live in the soil below the surface, so don’t move soil or fill, and leave soil on site. Also if you have any potted or outdoor plants, do not move them.

Adult beetles can travel on waste or debris from yards, gardens, and other horticulture activities. If you landscape or garden, leave your lawn clippings, leaves, weeds, and garden debris in the treatment area. 

Free treatment

Free treatments for Japanese beetle are continuing in the Grandview area. This helps prevent the establishment of this invasive pest. You can give consent to have your property treated by going to agr.wa.gov/beetles. You will need to provide your unique property ID number. If you need help obtaining this, contact us at PestProgram@agr.wa.gov or 1-800-443.6684.

WSDA has hired a contractor to apply the treatment, and our staff will be in the field monitoring the treatment progress. Treatments are relatively fast and you do not need to be home for the process.

Stay connected

WSDA is dedicated to working with the public to provide information on Japanese beetle. WSDA has taken pictures of the pest around the Grandview area, to view images please visit flickr.com/wsdagov.

View the Pest Alert for Japanese beetle. 

Follow WSDA on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter

Friday, May 20, 2022

This summer, "adopt a wasp" to help monitor for Asian giant hornets

Cassie Cichorz
Pest Program

WSDA invites you to help watch for Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) this summer. Join our new citizen science project to adopt a structure with paper wasp nests and observe the nests weekly from June through October. If you'd like to do even more, WSDA will continue to invite residents to participate in citizen scientist trapping for hornets too.

Over the last two years, residents of Whatcom County have noticed hornets attacking paper wasp nests. In 2021, WSDA tracked a hornet and observed it repeatedly visiting the same paper wasp nest. Each visit lasted five to ten minutes and the hornet removed paper wasp larvae.  

Paper wasps can grow to about ¾ of an inch long and have a well-defined “wasp waist” that makes them easy to identify. Paper wasps are typically not aggressive and do not readily attack people, but they can sting if threatened. They form small colonies and build hanging, open comb nests on building eaves, frames, abandoned cars, or branches of trees and shrubs. Paper wasp nests vary in size and are usually gray to brown in color. They are made up of many exposed cells that are less than an inch deep. Nests typically range from the size of a quarter to as wide as a coffee can lid, but can be larger.

Although we invite anyone in Washington to participate in adopting a paper wasp nest, we are particularly interested in observations from Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, Snohomish, King, Jefferson, and Clallam counties.


Starting in June, locate nests that you have access to and can monitor through October. Log the nest locations using the Adopt A Paper Wasp Registration Form. After submission, you’ll receive an email confirmation which will include a unique Site ID assigned to your nest location. You will need to save this Site ID to use during weekly check-ins. (Please do not register any sites before June 1.) Click here to access the registration form. When you register, you’ll have the option to sign up for weekly email reminders to check your wasp nests. You can also sign up for weekly text reminders by texting JOIN WASP to 1-800-443-6684.


Each week visit the nests, observe, and report online if any hornet or wasp activity is happening at the nest. WSDA asks you to monitor the nests for at least five minutes during the day once per week, but you can check the nests for as long and often as you would like. 


After monitoring you will need to report each of your observations on the Paper Wasp Nest Check-in form. You will also need your Site ID that was received in a confirmation email. Click here to report and access the Check-in form.

However, if you think you spot an Asian giant hornet (it will be significantly larger than the paper wasps), safely take a photo and report it at agr.wa.gov/hornets or by emailing hornets@agr.wa.gov.

Stay Connected

WSDA is dedicated to working with the public and to providing information on Asian giant hornets.

·        Join the Asian giant hornet Facebook group.

·        Join the Pest Program email listserv.

Follow WSDA on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

State veterinarian confirms rabbit hemorrhagic disease in King County

Amber Betts

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) state veterinarian’s office has confirmed the presence of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus type 2 (RHDV2), in a King County rabbit.  RHDV2 is a highly contagious, fatal rabbit disease.

A private veterinarian tested the rabbit, which was housed exclusively indoors, after sudden deaths were reported. The premises is under quarantine and has implemented biosecurity measures.

RHDV2 history in Washington

In 2019, RHDV2 killed hundreds of feral domestic and domestic rabbits in Island and Clallam counties. Before then, the disease was designated as a foreign animal disease (FAD). If FADs are detected, there are a number of restrictions and emergency rules put into effect. Because of that outbreak, the virus is now considered stable-endemic, which means it already exists in the environment. Since the outbreak three years ago, 15 additional states have reported detections in either wild or domestic rabbits. As of April 2022, RHDV2 has been confirmed in wild and domestic rabbits in nearly 20 states nationwide.

Because the disease now exists generally in the environment, there won’t be any additional restrictions or rules set into place with this detection.

Vaccine available

Late last year the state vet’s office authorized the emergency use of a vaccine for RHDV2, which is now available to all Washington veterinarians. The vaccine has been shown to be protective against RHDV2. The vaccine must be administered by a Washington licensed veterinarian.

State Veterinarian Dr. Amber Itle is calling all rabbit owners to ask their veterinarians about the vaccine and to have their rabbits vaccinated as soon as possible. Due to the contagious and extremely infectious nature of this virus, vaccination is critical for disease control to protect our domestic and wild rabbit populations alike.   

“Remember to observe good biosecurity practices in addition to vaccinating your bunnies.  Be sure to isolate new additions for three weeks before commingling them with your colony and avoid contact with domestic and wild rabbits,” she said.

Veterinarians who would like to order the vaccine should contact Medgene labs directly at 605-697-2600.

For more information on RHDV2, biosecurity, and prevention, please visit WSDA’s Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease webpage.