Beetle Threat Means Spraying in Yards, Too

Beetle Threat Means Spraying in Yards, Too

Governor Brown has made another tough decision in the context of climate change and drought, and this time it involves spraying that goes beyond agricultural fields.

The active chemical being sprayed into some residents backyards will be carbaryl, a known carcinogen, but in the diluted amounts being used it is considered safe for humans.

The state simply cannot take chances when it comes to the current pest invasion by the Japanese beetle.  The fairly large, black and green-iridescent beetle eats just about every plant that grows.

While it does devour some unlikable plants such as poison oak and crabgrass, the voracious beetle also eats apples, alfalfa, plums, peaches, grapes, wisteria and strawberries.  This pest will also destroys trees, including walnuts and elms.

If an infestation does occur, California crops could be quarantined, adding another burden to the already beleaguered agricultural economy of the state.  The drought has caused extreme stress to what is a 40 billion dollar industry, and inability export California fruits and veggies could bring economic disaster.

Without any practical alternative, the state is extending the spraying to 41 privately owned properties in Fair Oaks and 247 in Carmichael.