Japanese Beetle Quarantine and Nursery Law-Why?

The Colorado Nursery Act, Title 35-26 and its’ associated Rules (8 CCR 1203-5) exist to protect consumers and the environment from the introduction of pests.  Nursery stock can harbor and vector plant pests and diseases.  Unregulated production and shipping of nursery stock present an unacceptable risk to the state’s agricultural, forestry, and horticultural interests and to the State’s general environmental quality.  Therefore it is necessary to ensure that nurseries produce healthy plants and that nursery stock shipped to other nurseries, brokers, and out-of-state customers meets the national nursery stock cleanliness standard.

The Nursery Act specifies that it is illegal to move or sell plants within the state or outside the state infested with pests, diseases, and weeds. 

An additional piece of legislation called the Pest Control Act (35-4) also covers the movement of pests injurious to agriculture and allows for CDA to enact quarantines of pests that pose a high risk to agriculture and the environment.  Regulatory authority for Colorado’s Japanese beetle quarantine is due to the Pest Control Act.

The Japanese beetle Quarantine, 8 CCR 1203-21, adopted at the request of the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association (CNGA) in 2010, helps slows the progression of the insect and prevent new Colorado introductions.  Nursery stock may only enter Colorado if treated with certain insecticides or certified to be Japanese beetle free.  Recently the  Agriculture Commission adopted a proposal to expand our State’s quarantine to include the Colorado counties of Pueblo, El Paso, Douglas, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Denver, Boulder, Broomfield, Adams, Weld and Larimer to prevent spread of the pest from known infested areas in Front Range to locations in eastern Colorado and the West Slope.  Effective December 30, 2016, nurseries and landscape contractors in Front Range counties now need to make sure plant material that is grown or held within the Front Range is certified Japanese beetle free before transporting to other areas of the state.