Coffee bean beetle (Areacerus fasciculatus)

Type of pest: Primary pest

Distribution: A. fasciculatus is of primary importance in tropical and subtropical areas of Central and South America, Africa and Asia where coffee beans or cocoa are grown.

Identification: Adults are 3 – 5 mm, globular, long legs and antennae, elytra patterned with light and dark patches giving checkered appearance. The last three segments of the antennae are a formless club. Larvae: scarabaeiform, with partly-developed legs.

Similar species: Bruchidae

Life cycle: Optimal development conditions: 22-66 days at 28-32 ºC, 60% r.h or higher. The eggs are laid onto the seed or root. Larvae bore into the commodity on hatching and develop in one single seed. Adults leave a neat exit hole on emergence, are short-lived, and do not feed on the commodity and fly.

Commodities infested: Cocoa, coffee, dried cassava and yams, maize, groundnuts, Brazil nuts and nutmegs. The symptoms of A. fasciculatus infestation are characteristic of most internal feeders of stored commodities. The commodity may be hollowed out or tunneled by the larvae. Adults bore circular holes when they emerge from the commodity. Adult feeding causes irregular ragged patterns of damage, particularly if feeding on a commodity previously damaged by larvae. The economic impact of A. fasciculatus is particularly severe on coffee berries/beans and cocoa beans where conditions are favorable for the insect (i.e. where the commodity has a high moisture content or relative humidities are in excess of 70-80%). Properly-stored coffee beans and cocoa suffer much less damage than badly-stored commodities.

Treatment: Controlled Atmosphere for infestation in product
Treatment: Heat Treatment for infestation in buildings

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