Japanese beetles are not native to Washington state. Outside of their natural ecosystem in Asia, Japanese beetle populations increase quickly if they are not controlled. Outbreaks of Japanese beetles are a problem because adult Japanese beetles eat the leaves of over three hundred different types of plants, flowers, and fruits, while the grubs (larvae) eat turfgrass roots. Japanese beetles don't bite or spread disease to humans.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is working on a multi-year program to remove Japanese beetles. Eradication includes mass trapping, insecticide treatment, and establishing an internal quarantine to prevent the spread of the beetles and protect agriculture. Learn more about the internal quarantine. WSDA also encourages the public to report sightings and help prevent the spread of this pest.
WSDA proposes to treat infested areas in Yakima and Benton counties in spring and summer 2023 to address the outbreak of Japanese beetles. The proposal involves applying a liquid pesticide called Acelepryn to soil. The granular pesticide, Acelepryn G, may also be applied to soil. WSDA will ask residents for permission before treating their property. Both Acelepryn G and Acelepryn are approved for use in residential and commercial areas.
How to Stop the Spread of Japanese Beetles
Washington State uses an integrated pest management approach to reduce the spread of Japanese beetles. This includes:
- Monitoring with baited and scented traps to attract the beetles.
- Teaching homeowners how to identify and report beetle sightings.
- Removing beetles - with property owner consent - using the least toxic methods.
Washington State University Extension also teaches homeowners how to self-treat Japanese beetle detections. See WSU Extension's Japanese beetle identification and treatment handout (PDF).
What are Acelepryn G and Acelepryn?
Acelepryn G is a dry granule pesticide that is spread on the ground and watered in. When exposed to water, Acelepryn G absorbs into the soil. Acelepryn is the liquid form of Acelepryn G and is sprayed on the leaves, bark, and soil of plants.
These products kill both the larva and adult Japanese beetles when they eat or come into contact with it. Acelepryn G and Acelepryn are also used to control other insects like grubs, caterpillars, and weevils. These pesticides are not a risk to mammals, birds, or fish.
EPA approved applications of Acelepryn G and Acelepryn in areas including turfgrass on athletic fields, parks, playgrounds, and lawns, and on flower beds and bushes planted around homes, schools, and businesses.
What ingredients are in Acelepryn G and Acelepryn?
Acelepryn G and Acelepryn are commercial pesticides with the active ingredient chlorantraniliprole. Acelepryn G contains limestone clay and an ingredient that binds the active ingredient to the clay. Acelepryn contains very small amounts of two preservatives (1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one; and bronopol). Although some people are sensitive to preservatives, allergic reactions have not been reported in people exposed to Acelepryn.
EPA reviewed Acelepryn G and Acelepryn and placed these pesticides in the reduced-risk category. That means they pose less of a risk to human health and the environment than other pesticides used for the same purpose.
What are the health concerns of Acelepryn G and Acelepryn?
When used as directed, Acelepryn G and Acelepryn aren't dangerous for people. Washington State Department of Health toxicologists have reviewed the active ingredient in these pesticides and concluded that they pose a very low concern for health. The active ingredient has not been found to cause allergic reactions. The active ingredient is approved for use on produce such as leafy vegetables, grapes, cucurbits (gourd vegetables), potatoes, rice, pome fruit (apples and pears), and stone fruit (peaches and plums). Additionally, EPA concluded that Acelepryn G and Acelepryn are not dangerous to domestic animals, including dogs.
No symptoms or illness have been reported following applications of Acelepryn G or Acelepryn in Washington or Oregon.
EPA did not review potential health risks associated with Acelepryn G or Acelepryn use in home vegetable gardens or home orchards because these pesticides are not intended for these settings. However, because EPA approved the active ingredient for use in a wide range of commercial food crops, we don't expect a health risk to occur in these scenarios. Take steps to prevent run-off to home or school vegetable gardens when watering Acelepryn G into nearby soil. Learn more about how to prevent runoff when using pesticides.
The active ingredient in Acelepryn G and Acelepryn is harmful to aquatic invertebrates such as crayfish and water fleas. Do not apply these pesticides near bodies of water to prevent runoff into those areas.
Public Health Recommendations
Acelepryn G and Acelepryn have an excellent safety record when used as directed. If you're still concerned, you can limit direct contact with the product by following these tips:
- Avoid the area and keep pets inside until the treatment has dried.
- If you come into contact with the pesticide, wash the affected skin with soap and water.
- If your clothes come into contact with the pesticide, remove clothing and wash before wearing again.
- Eating produce grown in Acelepryn G- or Acelepryn-treated soil is not expected to cause health effects. However, if you want to avoid exposure, take steps to avoid surface water runoff from areas treated with Acelepryn G into home gardens. Learn more about how to prevent runoff when using pesticides.
Talk to your health care provider if you have health concerns related to Acelepryn G or Acelepryn.
Japanese Beetle, WSDA - Learn more about identification, homeowner treatment options, how to report a sighting, and how to stay informed.
Content Source: Pesticide Program