Beware of Khapra Beetles in Your Bowl of Rice

Khapra beetle (01)khapra beetle (02)Khapra beetle is one of the most destructive pests to stored grain and other cereal products.  Believe it or not, such a teeny-weeny pest can destroy 30 to 70% of your grain and seeds.

One of the shocking cases has it that, back in early 2011, the US customs officials seized a shipment of Indian rice that came in from Saudi Arabia after they had discovered that the rice was infested with live khapra beetles as well as their larvae!  As a result, the questionable goods were destroyed.

Khapra beetles are difficult to eliminate, not to mention the difficulty in controlling the infestation caused by such pests.  This is because khapra beetles are highly resistant to surface insecticides and fumigants.  Moreover, they can live without food for long periods of time; ergo, they are one of the strongest survivors in the insect family.

The presence of khapra beetles in many regions of the world has made them an almost worldwide nuisance.  Fortunately for us Malaysians, to date, there hasn’t been a reported case of serious infestation or outbreak according to the report by EPPO.  However, we have to be made aware that, wherever there are grain stocks around, there is always a possibility that such creepy critter could be lurking nearby.


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