Khapra Beetle

The khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is a foreign insect that is considered to be one of the world’s most destructive pests of grain products and seeds. This federal quarantine pest is not known to occur in the United States, and in general, the khapra beetle is endemic to a geographical area encompassing several countries within Asia and Africa. The khapra beetle prefers grains and cereal products.

This pest hides in cracks and crevices and can survive for several years without food, making detection, control or eradication very difficult. Depending upon the conditions, stored grain damage may range up to 30 percent, although 75 percent damage has been reported. Khapra beetle infestations were first discovered in California in 1953 and subsequently detected in warehouses, mills and farm storage areas in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. An eradication program eliminated these infestations. The khapra beetle again appeared in isolated infestations from 1980 to 1983 in California, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. All known infestations have been eradicated.

Past history indicates that khapra beetle infestations will continue to threaten the United States. Trapping surveys will continue to be critical to detect small infestations as soon as possible after introduction in order to facilitate the use of less expensive management techniques. Infestations that go undetected may be a serious problem and eradication measures may not be an option. Consequently export opportunities may be jeopardized.

During 1999, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture personnel placed 124 traps at 39 high risk locations across nine counties throughout South Dakota with assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture. Visual inspection was conducted in areas where khapra beetle have a high incidence of congregating. Results of this annual survey indicate the absence of the khapra beetle in South Dakota, as all trap locations were negative for the pest. In addition, visual survey was conducted for Asian Longhorn Beetle at locations sourcing high-risk materials from China. Surveys of wood dunnage did not reflect the presence of this pest.