Invasive Japanese beetles threaten Yakima Valley growers

GRANDVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Thousands of invasive Japanese beetles have been caught in the Lower Yakima Valley this summer and pose a threat to the agricultural industry. Last year, traps across the state caught three beetles. This year, more than 23,500 have been captured since late June. Most were found in the Grandview area but some have made it to Sunnyside. The Washington State Department of Agriculture, said they have tracked the beetle’s activity since the 1980s and occasionally one would be found, mostly near a point of entry like an airport. But there is no explanation for the exponential growth in the past year.