The Khapra Beetle, Trogoderma granarium, has been listed as part of the worldwide top 100 worst invasive species list.
Khapra Beetles are a destructive pest that are incredibly difficult to eradicate, especially after an infestation has already been established.
Khapra beetles thrive on foods with low moisture content and can reproduce rapidly when these products are stored under hot conditions.
As a result these insects can wreak havoc on grain stores, oilseeds, and other dried foods. Contaminated food items could pose a health risk to consumers due to beetle larvae, shed skins and hairs.
Because these beetles tend to crawl into small cracks and crevices, they are largely resistant to surface insecticides and fumigants. Additionally, these beetles possess the ability to survive without food for long periods of time. Therefore, the best safety measure is to keep them from being introduced into a non-native area.
The Khapra beetle is native to India, but has spread to the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe.
To avoid this invasive species from entering the country, Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) will initiate new quarantine treatment requirements for containers bound for Australia from any of the countries that have been identified as being a potential risk for beetle infestation.
In order to comply with the new quarantine measures, any containers exported to Australia from the at-risk countries must be treated off-shore prior to being loaded.
Treated containers must be accompanied by a valid certificate of treatment. This is in addition to a valid phytosanitary certificate, should that be applicable.
Shipments that do not comply with the new quarantine treatment measures will be returned to origin or to a location deemed by the DAWE and the shipper will bear the associated costs of the return shipment.
Further information can be found via the Department’s web-site (https://www.agriculture.gov.au/pests-diseases-weeds/plant/khapra-beetle)