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BOISE The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is warning people about a new invasive insect recently discovered in Ada and Kootenai counties.

The Japanese beetle feeds on trees, rose bushes, stonefruits and many garden and field crops leaving holes and skeltonized leaves. The larvae, or grubs, live under the soil surface and destroy patches of turf by feeding on roots of grass.

The insect is about one-half inch long, a shiny metallic green with copper-brown wing covers. It first was found in the U.S. in 1916 in plants imported from Japan.

The department is working to identify areas with the beetle through intensive trapping. Green and yellow traps have been placed in Boise around Boise State University and the Warm Springs area, along State Street near Pierce Park and at several public parks. Increased trapping is planned for other parts of Idaho.

Anyone who has found a Japanese beetle is urged to seal a dead specimen or two in a sandwich bag and mail it in a regular envelope to: Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Plant Industries Division, P.O. Box 790 Boise, ID 83701, and please include your name, address and phone number, or call (208) 332-8620 to report the possible find.

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