Destructive Japanese beetles likely in North Dakota to stay

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(AP) — A bug that’s an enemy to front yard flower beds, backyard vegetable gardens, farmers’ crops and even golf courses has been found again in North Dakota.

The Agriculture Department says the Japanese beetle larvae were found in nursery stock shipped to North Dakota. The beetles were found in several locations, including Bismarck, that received shipments from a Minneapolis-area supplier.

They’ve been found in the state before. But North Dakota State University entomologist Janet Knodel says the state likely now has an established population of the destructive beetle. It’s been moving steadily westward since being first found in the U.S. in New Jersey a century ago.

The beetle can be controlled with insecticides. But Knodel says it still causes about $450 million in damage each year in the U.S.

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