A state ag department campaign to kill destructive Japanese beetles begins April 17 when contractors will apply a granular insecticide to lawns on 2,500 private properties in the Cedar Mill area of Washington County, just west of Portland.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture says the action, which could extend to annual treatments for up to five years, is crucial to knock out an infestation of the beetles that was confirmed last summer.
The project could become an uncomfortable legal problem for the ag department, however. The effort’s success hinges on the cooperation of all property owners, and a handful — 16 of the 2,500 as of April 6 — have said they won’t allow insecticide applied on their lawns. Several hundred others have not responded despite five direct mailings, 46 community presentations, social media postings and 500 hours of door-to-door canvassing.
If necessary, the department is prepared to ask a judge for an order allowing it to go on private property and complete the treatment, said Bruce Pokarney, the department spokesman. The department believes it has legal authority to take the action, he said.
Read more at the Capital Press.