British Columbia

Invasive Japanese beetle spotted in False Creek

A species of Japanese beetle that had previously only been spotted in eastern provinces has showed up in Vancouver.

The highly invasive pest is harmless to people, but known to attack roots, leaves and fruit

It's currently unknown how the invasive species would have arrived in Vancouver. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

An invasive species of Japanese beetle never before seen in B.C. has popped up in False Creek.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a live beetle was found in a trap put out by the City of Vancouver in July.

It has since been identified as the Popillia japonica, which had previously only been spotted in eastern provinces.

The beetle poses no risk to human health or food safety, but is known to attack the roots, leaves and fruit of a wide variety of plants, crops and trees. 

In a release, the CFIA said the beetle could cause "significant costs associated with damage to grass, flowers and trees in parks and private properties." 

Adults have an oval outline and are approximately 10 millimetres long and 6 millimetres wide, with metallic green abdomens and heads, copper-brown wing coverings and white tufts of hair along their sides and rear.

It's currently unknown how the species would have arrived in Vancouver, but the according to the CFIA it may have been introduced through the movement of nursery and greenhouse stock, infested soil or via airplanes or other vehicles from areas where the pest is established.  

The CFIA is asking that all Japanese beetle sightings to be reported on their website.