Japanese beetles (JB) are highly destructive plant pests that attack foliage, flowers, and fruits of more than 300 ornamental and agricultural plants. Several regulatory issues and the dramatic spread of JB in the United States required the creation of The US Domestic Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan (JB DHP) in 1998 to slow the spread of Japanese Beetles across the United States.

Each state is evaluated for its level of JB infestation. Category 1 states are JB free and have external quarantines to prohibit the entry of JB into their state. These states are generally west of the Rocky Mountains. Category 2 states have some level of JB but are considered uninfested or only partially infested. They have quarantines and protocols to eliminate or contain JB to its current locations in the state. Category 3 states are generally or partially infested and do not regulate JB within the state. Category 4 states are unlikely to become infested due to environmental factors and the state does not plan to take any measures to limit the introduction of JB into the state because of the low risk.

Due to increased numbers of Japanese beetles found, Minnesota is a Category 3 state. This means that JB Certification is required to ship regulated articles to all Category 1 and 2 states.  Regulated articles include any plants with soil or growing media because JB grubs live in the soil.  In general, bareroot material is exempt due to the lack of soil.

Japanese beetle certification can be obtained via several methods, depending on the category of the destination state.  Popular methods include a trapping survey, soil sampling, and treatment of plants prior to shipment.  More details regarding JB certification can be found on the National Plant Board Website as listed under "external links."

Each company desiring JB certification needs to sign a MDA compliance agreement.  The compliance agreement, along with survey or other documentation, allows the MDA to issue a JB certificate to accompany all shipments to Category 1 and 2 states.

If you have any questions about Japanese Beetle Certification, review the on-line US Domestic Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan on the National Plant Board website and/or contact the MDA Export Certification Program.

Program e-mail:  MDA.Export@state.mn.us