Freiburg (dpa) – For the first time in Germany, a specimen of the harmful Japanese beetle has been proven to have fallen into a trap. According to the Freiburg regional council on Tuesday, this is the first officially confirmed find of a living Japanese beetle in this country. So far there had been only a few indications of individual finds, but the authorities were unable to verify.
The male was discovered in early November in a so-called pheromone trap near the Freiburg freight yard. According to a spokesman for the regional council, it was dead by then. But it must have been alive to get into the trap.
This find, as well as a previous one in Basel, show that the probability of Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) is increasing in Baden-Württemberg. The official plant protection service will monitor the location and other risk locations such as freight yards and truck parking spaces more closely when the flight time begins in May next year, the spokesman announced.
According to the Agricultural Technology Center (LTZ) Augustenberg, Japanese beetles can cause severe damage to fruit trees, strawberries, beans, maize, vines, roses and many other shrub and tree species. The grubs – i.e. the larvae – in turn feed mainly on grass roots and could destroy entire lawns, meadows and pastures en masse.
In mid-July, a male beetle got caught in a pheromone trap near the Basel freight station. The German experts then called on the public to be vigilant. Citizens reported hundreds of suspected cases to the LTZ in Karlsruhe. Often it was about other animals, but there was also a dead specimen of the Japanese beetle in Baden-Württemberg. According to the information at the time, the animal was in a delivery of industrial goods from Poland.
According to the LTZ, adult Japanese beetles are around one centimeter tall and look similar to domestic garden, May or June beetles. The Japanese beetle, however, has five white tufts of hair on each side of the abdomen and two at the end of the body. The pronotum has a noticeably green-metallic shimmer.
Restrictions on plant transport, close-knit nets, insecticides and fungi could be measures to prevent the spread of Popillia japonica. The risk of importation was particularly high via travel and goods traffic on the traffic arteries on the Upper Rhine or the highways on Lake Constance.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211123-99-114478 / 3