Invasive beetle treatment set to resume this week

April 17 2023 –

Treatment to remove Popillia japonica (Japanese beetles) from Vancouver’s parks and green spaces will begin this week.

Since 2018, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, alongside partners including the City of Vancouver, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Invasive Species Council of BC, and the BC Landscape and Nursery Association, have carried out an annual treatment program across the city’s parks, medians, boulevards and other public lands.

Owing to this collaborative and robust response, the number of invasive beetles caught in traps across Vancouver has fallen from 8,275 in 2018 to just 39 in 2022, representing a 99 per cent decrease.

Treatment efforts and movement control continue to be successful. Much of the False Creek area and downtown core have been removed from the treatment map this year, following two successive years without any trap catches. 

However, a small number of Popillia japonica beetles were detected both inside and outside of Vancouver’s regulated area. As a result, this year’s treatment map will be expanded to cover all areas where beetles were caught in 2021 and 2022.

Treatment areas

Treatment of over 60 hectares will begin on April 18 at Columbia Park and continue through the months of May and June at parks and public lands within the areas outlined in the treatment map  (384 KB)

The larvicide used in treatment is approved for use by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and is applied to the soil. It targets root-eating grubs and will not harm people, pets, mammals, birds, bees, butterflies, or other animals.

The Park Board will not close parks and green spaces, but residents are asked to stay off the grass on treatment days. Staff and signage will be present at each site to advise on program activities and best practices, including keeping pets off the grass. 

Starting after May 1, the Park Board will begin treating the city boulevards and medians. Letters will be delivered and signage posted ahead of boulevard treatments.

Preliminary treatment schedule

Dates are subject to change.

Date Area
Tuesday, April 18 Columbia Park
Wednesday, April 19 Connaught Park
Thursday, April 20 George Wainborn Park
Friday, April 21 Rosemary Brown Park / Arbutus Greenway
Sunday, April 23 David Lam Park / Roundhouse Turntable Plaza
Monday, April 24 Glen Park / Queen Elizabeth Pitch and Putt
Wednesday, April 26 Coopers’ Park
Thursday, April 27 Queen Elizabeth Park
Friday, April 28 Queen Elizabeth Park (Day two if needed)
Sunday, April 30 Prince of Wales Park
Monday, May 1 Oak Meadows Park
Tuesday, May 2 Carnarvon Park
Wednesday, May 3 Granville Park
Thursday, May 4 Strathcona Park

About the Popillia japonica beetle

Popillia japonica was found for the first time in B.C. in the False Creek area in 2017. It is an invasive insect that feeds on the roots of turf grass and foliage of more than 300 plant species including both food and landscape plants. 

The beetle can cause significant damage to parks, lawns, golf courses, landscapes, and the agriculture industry. If left untreated, the beetle poses a serious risk to plants, trees, and ecosystems in Vancouver and neighbouring municipalities. 

According to the World Conservation Union, invasive species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity following habitat loss.

For more information on the Popillia japonica beetle and treatment information: