Urgent Measures to protect against Khapra Beetle

Khapra beetle and its risk to Australia

Image of khapra beetle compared to a 5 cent piece

Khapra beetle is Australia’s number two National Priority Plant Pest and the number one plant priority pest for grains. It is not present in Australia, but it is a highly invasive pest that poses a major threat to Australia’s grains industry. Khapra beetle destroys grain quality making it unfit for human or animal consumption.

A number of countries, including Australia, have seen a recent increase in khapra interceptions in imported plant products. It is also now being detected in goods that khapra beetle previously had no association with, and as a hitchhiker pest in sea containers, including from countries not known to have khapra beetle. 

Khapra beetle can survive as a hitchhiker pest in sea containers for a number of years. Due to its small size, its ability to survive for extended periods without food and its preference for inhabiting crevices, it can remain undetected under floors and in cracks and crevices in sea containers. When conditions are favourable beetle populations can quickly increase in size and can contaminate any goods held within the container.

A target risk container is defined as a Full Container Load/Full Container Consolidated (FCL/FCX) where: