Japanese beetles to be declared a public nuisance

More updates on the Japanese Beetle infestation in Grand Junction.
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 5:46 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Some little creatures are getting under the skin of Mesa County Commissioners. So much so they will be addressed at tomorrows commissioners meeting

It’s the Japanese beetle.

Commissioners want to declare them a public nuisance.

“Our farmers and our residents have brought the Japanese beetle concern to the county. We’re making sure that we’re being responsive and listening to the needs of our community.” said Mesa County Commissioner Bobbie Daniel.

Without quick action, Daniels says, “It could be a catastrophic event if we do nothing.”

Farmers say they represent a threat to agriculture, as these beetles enjoy peaches, cherries, and grapes.

The beetles haven’t escaped the confines of H Road to G Road. “That’s going to be where our major focus is to make sure that that beetle is eradicated.” Said Daniel.

Commissioners and Noxious Weed and Pest Management already have a plan of action for this April.

“Mesa County will be focusing on a chemical called Acelepryn. It’s effective, but it’s also what’s called a reduced risk pesticide,” said Duncan Dearduff, the Noxious Weed and Pest Management Coordinator.

A non-toxic insecticide that is safer than dish soap according to Dearduff.

We asked how the beetles made their way here.

“We think it came in through either a private individual, bringing in ornamental plants that were infected, or an unregistered landscape contractor bringing in some infested sod from the front range,” said Dearduff.

He says none of the local nurseries were at fault for the infestation.

Commissioner Daniel hopes the declaration will pass tomorrow in order to get more funds to eradicate the outbreak. “We want to make sure that more funding partners come to the table.”

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m., March 7, at the old county courthous