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Questions and Answers - Japanese beetle

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates the movement of articles that can carry Japanese beetle (JB) to prevent its spread from parts of Canada where it is present to areas that are pest-free. The provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are considered infested with JB and movement of regulated articles from these areas to other parts of Canada must meet certain requirements to prevent further spread. In 2018 a regulated area for JB was established within the City of Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) and was expanded in 2019 to account for detections just outside the regulated area. In 2022, the regulated area was expanded to include new detection sites within the City of Vancouver, and to include an area within the City of Burnaby. Active eradication efforts are currently underway.

What is Japanese Beetle (JB)

Japanese beetle (JB), Popillia japonica, is a plant pest native to Japan that attacks roots, foliage and fruit of a variety of host plants, including elm, maple, rose, zinnia, corn, asparagus, grape, apple, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. The JB larvae favour turf grass as their host, while adults feed on the leaves and fruit of a wide variety of host plants.

Where does JB come from and when was it confirmed present in North America

The beetle is native to the main islands of Japan. It was first discovered in North America in New Jersey in 1916 and first recorded in Canada in Yarmouth, NS, in 1939.

Which articles are regulated for JB

All underground plant parts (such as bulbs or whole plants with roots) with soil or soil related matter are regulated year-round for JB under the CFIA's directive D-96-15: Phytosanitary requirements to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, in Canada and the United States.

What do I need to know about moving regulated articles in Canada

Regulated articles moving to British Columbia or Newfoundland and Labrador from other parts of Canada must meet certain requirements to ensure they are free from JB. These requirements are described in the CFIA's directive D-96-15: Phytosanitary requirements to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, in Canada and the United States. There are no restrictions related to JB for movement of articles to provinces and territories other than British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

To move regulated articles to British Columbia or Newfoundland and Labrador from elsewhere in Canada, a CFIA Movement Certificate is required. Please contact your local CFIA office for more information.

Why are regulated areas established

Regulated areas are established to restrict the spread of unwanted pests outside of those areas. This is achieved by maintaining and enforcing restrictions on the movement of potentially infested articles out of areas where a quarantine pest has been found. In the case of JB, the regulated articles include soil, all plants with soil and above-ground plant parts without soil. Regulated articles can be freely moved within a regulated area, but cannot be moved outside of a regulated area without a CFIA Movement Certificate. Any person who violates these prohibitions or restrictions of movement may be subject to a fine and/or liable to prosecution.

What does the CFIA do to prevent the spread of JB in Canada

The CFIA cooperates and consults with key stakeholders, including those at all government levels and within industry to implement strategies to control JB and slow its spread. The CFIA also educates the public, members of the landscaping and gardening industries, and municipalities on the restrictions and options for movement of regulated commodities where regulated areas are established.

How does JB spread

As a beetle, JB is capable of movement on its own through flight (local spread). Long-distance spread occurs primarily through human activities like the movement of infested plants with soil from one area to another.

Will there be compensation for losses associated with the destruction of any plants infested or destroyed by JB

There is no compensation available for actions related to JB control.

What are the potential economic consequences of JB spread in Canada

A change in the JB regulatory status of an area from pest-free to infested does not pose a trade barrier, but could increase industry production costs by requiring regulated articles to be treated prior to export to pest-free areas in the United States.

There may also be significant costs associated with damage to grass, flowers and trees in parks and private properties.

What should I do if I find JB in my garden

If you find JB within the province of British Columbia, please report the find to the CFIA as soon as possible by:

  1. Calling 604-292-5742 or
  2. Emailing

If you find JB outside of British Columbia, please report the find to your local CFIA office.

For JB finds within areas of Canada which have a regulatory status of "partially or generally infested", including: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec, it is unfortunately outside of the CFIA's mandate to provide advice on how to manage JB infestations. Your provincial ministry of agriculture may be able to provide additional information.

CFIA's Control Measures for JB

How is the spread of JB being controlled

The spread of the JB is controlled by restricting the movement of identified regulated articles from within the regulated areas established by the CFIA to outside the regulated areas.

The CFIA, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (AFF), Cities of Burnaby, Port Coquitlam and Vancouver, and other industry and non-governmental stakeholders are working together to respond to detections of Japanese beetle in 2021.

Where can I get detailed information about the CFIA's requirements

For detailed information on the CFIA's requirements for JB, please see directive D-96-15: Phytosanitary requirements to prevent the spread of Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica, in Canada and the United States or contact your local CFIA office.

How is the public being informed

Information is posted on the CFIA website. In addition, the CFIA is in contact with key stakeholders, including nurseries and garden centres.

What can I do to help

The CFIA is asking for everybody's assistance in avoiding the movement of regulated articles out of the regulated areas without prior written permission from the CFIA. For more information, please call your local CFIA office. You can also assist the CFIA by reporting all illegal movement of regulated articles, and by reporting all sightings of Japanese beetle outside of a regulated area. If you see Japanese beetle within a regulated area in BC, please report it by calling: 604-292-5742 or email

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