BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Officials don't believe extreme drought in other states has anything to do with Japanese beetles showing up in North Dakota for only the second time in 52 years.
The pests that feast on everything from rose bushes to corn crops are most prevalent in states east of the Mississippi River, many of whom are dealing with extreme drought. But North Dakota State University entomologist Jan Knodel (kuh-NOH'-duhl) says the beetles don't fly such long distances, and they prefer hotter, drier weather anyway.
Knodel speculates the beetles found in traps in eastern North Dakota hitched a ride on trucks bringing nursery plants to North Dakota from Minnesota, which has established populations of the bugs.
North Dakota doesn't. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says officials will work to keep it that way.