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Japanese Beetle Eradication



  • The licensed pest control company contracted by UDAF completed the first round of turf treatments in the Insect Emergency Infestation area in late April.  High-density trapping in the area finished in early June.  State insect trappers will be checking the traps on a bimonthly basis to look for JB from late June to September of this year.



  • The Commissioner of Agriculture has declared an Insect Emergency Infestation Area in Salt Lake County.  Letter from Commissioner Gibson(March 12th, 2020)



In 2019 the UDAF Invasive Insect Program detected 36 Japanese beetles in Salt Lake County.  The program has not detected this many beetles for more than a decade. To ensure that the Japanese beetle does not become established in the state, UDAF has declared an emergency and has prepared an eradication plan.

Maps of planned treatments:


Safety and pollinator protection

UDAF has selected imidacloprid, a non-restricted use pesticide, for the project. The pesticide is proven effective in controlling JB and it has low-mammalian toxicity (safe for people and pets). The pesticide is for sale to the general public and is a commonly used product.

State pesticide enforcement officials will supervise pesticide applications to ensure that all federal and state rules are followed so that residents, water quality, and the environment are protected. The state Apiary Program will notify area beekeepers in advance of applications and train the pest control company in best practices for pollinator protection.  See attachments for further details.


How to help 

Residents that would like to help with the effort to keep Utah Japanese beetle-free are asked to become familiar with identifying the insect and reporting any sightings to UDAF. Identification information can be found in the eradication information flier below.

Documents for residents within infestation area

Historical trapping and Japanese beetle detections

From 1996-2005 approximately 500 Japanese beetle traps were placed annually.  In 2006 a large population was detected in Orem, which was later eradicated.

Below is a chart of historic trapping data from 2006 to 2019. 

The invasive pest Japanese beetle Popillia japonica (Newman) was first detected in the U.S. at a New Jersey nursery in 1916. Over 100 years later it has spread to more than 35 states – all established Japanese beetle populations are east of the Rocky Mountains. In its native environment, the Japanese beetle is not considered a major pest; this is likely due to host/plant resistance and numerous natural enemies that help keep populations in check. In the U.S. it has been a different story. In the spring months, the larval stage (grub) of the beetle feeds on the roots of grass and is considered a severe turf pest. The beetle pupates under the soil in late spring and emerges as an adult in early summer. Adult beetles have a voracious appetite and can feed on the foliage of over 300 different plant species. UDAF annually places thousands of traps statewide to monitor for this pest.

What is this green thing that looks like a bomb?

It is a Japanese beetle trap (and it is not explosive).

Why was this trap placed?

Utah maintains a quarantine of the invasive insect pest Japanese beetle, which is established in states east of Utah but is absent here. Traps are placed in all of Utah’s 29 counties to monitor for the insect as a secondary line of defense.

How does the trap attract beetles?

The trap includes a combination pheromone and floral lure, which mimic the scent of other beetles and flowers which are attractive, to the Japanese beetle.

Is the trap or lure harmful to people or pets?

The trap and combination lure are considered very safe for people and pets. The lures are not attractive to animals other than insects. Nonetheless, we ask that you use common sense and do not touch the trap or lure. If a trap needs to be serviced and relocated, please contact our program at 801-972-1669

Will it attract bees or other beneficial insects?

While the trap and lure is designed to specifically attract Japanese beetles and efforts are made to reduce by-catch, occasionally other insects will end up in the trap. However, compared to other routine activities that kill insects, such as cars, artificial night lighting and bug zappers, their impact is likely negligible.

Is it okay if water gets on the trap?

Yes, rain and irrigation do not affect its ability to attract insects.

What if I don’t want the trap on my property?

The Japanese beetle trapping program is a voluntary effort; to request removal, please call our program.

Invasive Insect Trapping Hotline 801-972-1669

Both as adults and grubs (the larval stage), Japanese beetles are destructive plant pests. Adults feed on the foliage and fruits of several hundred species of fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, and field and vegetable crops. Adults leave behind skeletonized leaves and large, irregular holes in leaves. The grubs develop in the soil, feeding on the roots of various plants and grasses, often destroying turf in lawns, parks, golf courses, and pastures.

USDA estimates that efforts to control the larval and adult stages cost more than $460 million each year. Losses attributable to the larval stage alone have been estimated at $234 million per year—$78 million for control costs and an additional $156 million for replacement of damaged turf.

Students from Westminster College's economic department created an economic impact analysis that predicted the damage costs to turf and corn in Utah, if the quarantine were to end and JB were to become established in the state.

The Utah Japanese Beetle Quarantine (UT Administrative Code R68-15) was put into effect in 1993. The purpose of this rule is to prevent the importation and establishment of the Japanese beetle in Utah. The rule regulates the importation of articles and commodities that are potential carriers of Japanese beetle; including soil, sod, and nursery stock. The rule also identifies states and Canadian provinces which are infested with the Japanese beetle and regulates the importation of articles from these areas that may harbor the pest.

Click here to see the official Utah Japanese Beetle Quarantine Rule (

If you have questions regarding the Utah Japanese Beetle Quarantine please contact UDAF at 801-982-2311.

In 2006 an Orem resident found a Japanese beetle while tending her garden. She reported the finding to UDAF, which set in motion an extensive trapping effort to determine the extent of the infestation. A total of 675 Japanese beetles were found that year alone.

The trapping season of 2007 was far worse, with over 2,000 beetle detections. The infestation measured approximately 100 square residential blocks. At the time, eradication of an infestation this large had never been attempted in the United States. However, UDAF was undeterred and in cooperation with the city of Orem, decided to embark on an unprecedented eradication effort.

Through intensive pesticide treatments over several years UDAF was able to bring Japanese beetle populations down. By 2011, not a single beetle was detected and just three years later the eradication effort was officially declared a success.