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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Department of Agriculture plans to expand its campaign against the Japanese beetle.

The Capital Press reports the agency wants to apply a granular insecticide over 1,900 acres in unincorporated Washington County.

The department last spring began a five-year project to wipe out the beetles, treating roughly 1,000 acres. Still, the department detected more than 23,000 beetles later that summer, including 750 outside the treatment area.

The beetles are destructive toward commercial nurseries, vineyards, orchards and crops, and would cost Oregon agriculture an estimated $43 million per year if they become established and dispersed throughout the state.

Increased monitoring statewide led to the discovery of 11 Japanese beetles in southwestern Oregon.


Information from: Capital Press,