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Trapping season underway in Oregon for invasive insects

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Over the next few weeks, thousands of insect traps will be placed throughout Oregon in an effort to detect gypsy moth, Japanese beetle, and a host of other invasive insect pests:

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The traps are designed to detect bad bugs that pose a risk to the state’s agriculture and natural resources. Survey technicians with the Oregon Department of Agriculture are looking for up to 20 invasive insects, according to ODA’s Helmuth Rogg:

ROGG:  “This has changed quite a bit from about 20 years ago when we looked just for Japanese beetle or gypsy moth. We’re looking now for a long list of invasive species that potentially can make their way to Oregon.”  :13

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While the list of unwanted insects has grown, the approach of early detection and rapid response remains the same. Placing the traps statewide every year helps detect small populations of invasive insects that can be easily eradicated before they grow and spread. The bulk of the traps once again will be for gypsy moth:

ROGG:  “We have this year, different colors. Half of the traps are the typical green color. The other half is kind of a brown color. It’s the same trap, it’s just a different color and still has the same sexual pheromone that attracts a male moth to that trap.”  :18

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For the fifth straight year, there will be no gypsy moth eradication project in Oregon– an ongoing record. Only two moths were trapped last year, both near Grants Pass. Still, Rogg says it’s no time to become complacent and that’s why the trapping is so important. Trapping and eradication of Japanese beetle continues near the Portland Airport and ODA will continue to look for serious insect pests that have yet to find their way to Oregon such as Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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ROGG says ODA continues to partner with other state and federal agencies to help put up the traps. That collaboration was helpful last year:

“The only two gypsy moths that we caught were actually in a trap that the Oregon Department of Forestry put out for us down in the Grants Pass area.”  :09

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ROGG says it normally takes one trapper about three weeks to check some 800 Japanese beetle traps located near the Portland Airport. But thanks to tiny cameras located on some of the traps, they can be checked daily as photos are transmitted to a website:

“So 300 of these traps will be photo traps that I can check here on my computer within five minutes. If we some suspicious beetle in the traps, we can call the survey tech and send him or her there and check on that trap.”  :16

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