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Parks and Recreation

Contact Information
Parks & Recreation Department
City Services Center (CSC)
500 15th Avenue SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404
Phone: 319-286-5566
Fax: 319-540-8843


Mon - Fri, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Department Contacts
Insects and Diseases

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Gypsy Moth:" Lymantria dispar"
The Gypsy Moth is an imported pest that has devastated parts of the Eastern United States. There have been some sightings in Iowa, and the areas have been aggressively treated. A good web site for more information is Iowa State University.

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Asian Long Horned Beetle
The Asian Long horned Beetle, which is from China has been found as close as Chicago, Ill. Believed to have hitchhiked in wooden packing crates from China. It is very expensive to eradicate as the only way is to remove all infected trees and the healthy trees immediately surrounding the affected area. A very good web site on this subject is the National Forest Service.

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Japanese Beetle: "Popillia japonica Newman"
The Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) is a highly destructive plant pest of foreign origin. It was first found in the United States in a nursery in southern New Jersey nearly 80 years ago. In its native Japan, where the beetle's natural enemies keep its populations in check, this insect is not a serious plant pest.

In the United States, however, the beetle entered without its natural enemies and found a favorable climate and an abundant food supply. By 1972, beetle infestations had been reported in 22 States east of the Mississippi River and also in Iowa and Missouri. Since then, the pest has continued to disperse south and west. Isolated infestations have been found in Wisconsin, Oregon, and California. Without its natural checks and balances, the Japanese beetle has become a serious plant pest and a threat to American agriculture.

To control the Japanese beetle, an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is needed. Several potential tactics are available, including chemical and biological controls, habitat modification and trapping.

Systemic insecticides are effective, but need to be applied in mid to late May at the latest in order to protect plant material when the beetles emerge in June. In addition, lawn treatments to control grubs should be a part of the management program. Canopy sprays are not as effective as this two pronged approach.

Mechanical traps can help to reduce beetle populations; however, you must remember that the traps will draw beetles to your property. Therefore, place traps at the borders of your property, away from plants the beetles may damage.

The Japanese beetle can be a destructive pest of trees, plants and turf. It is important to understand that an IPM program will not eliminate all Japanese beetles from your property but it can help you reduce the damage inflicted by this pest.


There are several diseases that affect the urban canopy in Cedar Rapids. Most are primarily aesthetic issues that don't affect tree health. The two primary diseases of concern are Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm diseases. Bur Oak Blight is also a growing concern. The current plan for managing these issues is the following:

How to Identify and Manage Dutch Elm Disease

Oak Wilt - Identification and Management

Bur Oak Blight Pest Alert

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