#canada Vancouver's Park Board closed down a\u00a0park in the city's core Sunday as the first step in a spraying program against a destructive and\u00a0invasive beetle. Japanese beetles, Popillia japonica, were\u00a0first discovered\u00a0in B.C. in Vancouver's False Creek in 2017. The City of Vancouver is trying to prevent the Japanese beetle from spreading. It eats the leaves of plants and can kill them. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) It is\u00a0an invasive\u00a0pest that feeds on the roots of grass and the foliage of more than 300 plant species, ultimately causing the plants to die. Howard Normann, the director of parks for Vancouver, says the beetle is a real threat\u00a0to a variety of plants.\u00a0 "It has the potential to do a lot of damage. And not just to the trees you see here, but to other crops around the Lower Mainland," he said.\u00a0"They will basically strip the foliage off a plant pretty quickly." The beetles fly and are able to cover great distances in search of food sources. The Park Board is using a Japanese-beetle specific insecticide,\u00a0called Acelepryn, to battle\u00a0the pest. Normann says the insecticide doesn't affect bees, butterflies, animals or people, but targets the larva of Japanese beetles, which overwinter in soil. "It's extremely safe," says parks director Howard Normann about the insecticide Acelepryn. "It doesn't affect bees, butterflies, animals, or people. So very low toxicity." (CBC) Workers\u00a0not wearing masks or any discernible protective clothing began spraying\u00a0David Lam Park on Sunday, marking the beginning of their eradication efforts. In all, the Park Board plans to treat 70 hectares around the city, which include the downtown area, West End, Strathcona, Mount Pleasant, Fairview and Kitsilano. The city began its 2019 spraying campaign for Japanese beetles, Popillia japonica, at David Lam Park on Sunday, April 7, 2019. 0:25 Since the beetle was discovered, the City of Vancouver along with the province and the federal government have worked together on measures to prevent its spread. They've sprayed\u00a0larvicide to kill the grubs, trapped adults,\u00a0restricted the movement of plants and soil and have asked people to report sightings.