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100 Years of Japanese Beetles in New Jersey

Japanese Beetles in New Jersey

Here’s an anniversary that’s not exactly worth celebrating: 2016 marks 100 years since the Japanese beetle was first discovered in America.

From the Reading Eagle newspaper, July 22, 1923:

“Seven years ago, concealed in imported azalea roots, an unsuspected grub entered this country from Japan. The destination of the roots was Burlington County, New Jersey. They got there and the grub came with them. It burrowed in the ground and hatched the Japanese beetle that already has done much damage and threatens to do much more.”

A century later, the Japanese beetle is still a major gardening headache. As the newspaper account put it, “whatever green thing that comes in its way is grist for its insatiable devouring mill.”

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