Kloten football fields covered to fight Japanese beetle – rts.ch

The canton of Zurich has brought out the heavy artillery in its war against the Japanese beetle. Kloten’s football fields are now covered with tarpaulins in order to eradicate this invasive and voracious insect. The measures taken so far had not been enough.

“We assume that football fields are the epicenter of the Japanese beetle invasion in Kloten,” Fiona Eyer, from the Canton of Zurich plant health service, said on Tuesday. By covering them with plastic sheeting, the pest is combated on different levels, she explains.

The dieback of the covered lawn leads to the death of the beetle larvae, deprived of food. And if some of them still managed to develop into beetles, the tarpaulin would prevent them from taking flight. In addition, any beetles still present in Kloten at the end of summer would no longer be able to lay eggs on the football field.

A dead Japanese beetle photographed in Kloten in July 2023. [KEYSTONE – WALTER BIERI]

Until fall

The covering of football pitches in the Zurich metropolitan area is one of the most important measures taken to date. It will last at least until the fall. “We are optimistic about the chances of success of this drastic measure,” said Fiona Eyer.

For FC Kloten, the measure will also have drastic consequences. Its teams will no longer be able to train or play matches on club grounds. This was already the case last summer due to the presence of Japanese beetles. However, there is no legal basis giving him the right to financial compensation.

Workers cover a football field in Kloten, May 7, 2024. [KEYSTONE – MICHAEL BUHOLZER]

Other measures on the agenda

At the same time, the Zurich authorities will take further measures. Most of them had already been taken last year without eradicating the beetle. These include the use of insecticides and traps.

>> To reread: The fight against the Japanese beetle has started in Kloten

Watering will be prohibited again during the summer to prevent females from laying eggs in wet soils. Like last year, biological waste from the municipality and neighboring observation zones cannot be disposed of elsewhere. Through these measures, the canton follows the directives of the Confederation.

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