Impacts of the Khapra Beetle on Australia
The Khapra Beetle is one of the major threats hindering Australia's agriculture sector. Being the number 1 threat to the Australian grain industry, the Australian biosecurity team have their eyes on this tiny little creature.
The Khapra Beetle is also known as a "hitchhiker pest" as it hitches a ride in sea containers and travels through international borders. The Khapra Beetle hides in the corners, cracks and under floorboards of sea containers. They love dry food and hot weather, so catching a ride in containers full of rice, chickpeas, soybeans or wheat to Australia, is their ideal holiday
Once the Khapra Beetles are in their ideal location, they reproduce rapidly, leaving behind waste of all kinds. This waste can destroy large quantities of food leaving stored grains and other products unusable and farmers devastated.
If the Khapra Beetle arrives in Australia, it poses a great threat to the Australian delicate ecosystem, agriculture industry and economy. As the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) says "15.5 billion could be lost in economic development in these industries if they arrive on Australian soil."
"If Australia contracts the Khapra Beetle, there is the risk of it being passed onto neighbouring countries. This will push these countries to refuse to trade with us. This will have a huge knock on effect on our economy."
The Khapra Beetle is one of the key reasons Australia has such strong biosecurity laws and measures. Specifically, when importing grains, beans and dry ingredients.
How to mitigate risks from Khapra Beetle:
- Ensure you understand the risks of Khapra Beetle and other "hitchhiker pests"
- Keep a clean container - inspect them regularly before packing
- Continue to have clean containers by thoroughly cleaning containers and having clean storage areas before loading onto vessels.
- Inspecting incoming containers for any sign of Khapra Beetle, trails or waste.
- Report any signs of Khapra Beetle to the See. Secure. Report Hotline on 1800 798 636 or on the DAWE website at agriculture.gov.au/report
Read more about the Khapra Beetle and it's impacts on Australia, HERE