The Khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is the one of the most destructive stored grain pests in the world. It has been described as one of the worst invasive species worldwide, and is listed on the USDA-APHIS website as a Hungry Pest. It is native to India range, with its range extending throughout several countries in Asia and Africa. Damage from Khapra beetle has been reported to cause 30-70% loss of stored products.
Adult khapra beetles do not feed much and only live 4-7 days after mating. The major damage from this pest is due to feeding of the larvae. Females can lay approximately 50-90 eggs, which take about a month to develop into adults (depending on the temperature). Khapra beetle reproduction is extremely rapid and can quickly become unmanageable before they are detected. Their ability to survive without food for long periods of time also makes them difficult to control. Adults hide in cryptic habitats, such as cracks and crevices, which shields them from pesticide applications and complicates chemical control of the beetle.
Learn more about Khapra beetle biology and management in this Featured Creatures article.
Adult beetles are oval-shaped and about 1.6-3.0 mm long. Males are dark brown, while females are lighter brown in color. They are covered in fine hairs, and may have a reddish-brown markings on the elytra.
Khapra beetle has been detected in California, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. All infestations have been eradicated. It prefers hot and dry climates, so establishment in Florida is unlikely. The states most at risk for Khapra beetle are states with dry climates and high grain production, such as Arizona, California, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Don’t forget you can always contact the DPI Helpline (1-888-397-1517) or the UF Insect Identification Lab for help identifying an unknown insect.