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Invasive Beetle detected in Central Valley almonds and pistachios

A new invasive species of beetle was recently found infesting almonds and pistachios in the San Joaquin Valley; the beetle's larvae cause damage by boring into nuts. This invasive pest has been infesting Australia's almond production for a decade and its presence in the Central Valley threatens the region's tree nut industry.

Representative Josh Harder (CA-9) is sounding the alarm on this invasive species of beetle that's been detected in the Central Valley infesting almonds and pistachios. These invasive almond beetles and their larvae feed on the kernels of nuts and can cause massive crop losses. These pests – Carpophilus truncates (Nitidulidae), also known as Carpophilus beetles or invasive almond beetles – are only about 2.5 mm long and they bore tiny holes into developing nuts, eating the kernels inside and leaving tunnels and a powdery mix of nutmeat and frass behind.

This pest has been threatening almonds in Australia for ten years and more recently, they have been reported in walnuts in Argentina and Italy. This beetle has the ability to survive through the winter in the soil and inside unharvested leftover nuts called "mummy nuts," so they pose an ongoing threat to other crops beyond almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.

"The last thing farmers need is an invasive beetle killing some of our most important crops. These tiny pests lay their eggs inside unharvested 'mummy nuts' and can survive the cold winter months before they come out and feed on developing almonds, pistachios, and walnuts," said Rep. Harder. "We have to treat this invasion like the major economic threat it is. I'm calling on the USDA to step up and help our farmers get this under control before it's too late."

For more information:
Representative Josh Harder - Washington DC Office
209 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: +1 (202) 225-4540

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