COMMISSIONER MILLER PROVIDES UPDATE ON HOCKLEY COUNTY BEETLE INFESTATION > Texas Department of Agriculture Website > News & Events
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COMMISSIONER MILLER PROVIDES UPDATE ON HOCKLEY COUNTY BEETLE INFESTATION (9/21/2023)

AUSTIN - Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller provided an update on the red flour beetle infestation in Hockley County. On August 24, 2023, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) announced increased support for the city of Levelland in their ongoing efforts to eliminate the intrusive red flour beetle. Since then, almond hull piles have decreased drastically. The city of Levelland will continue to issue citations until the entirety of almond hulls have been removed from the Penny Newman Grain Company. Following the removal, the facility will be thoroughly treated with a registered insecticide named Tempo.

“TDA’s support to eliminate the red flour beetle has proven to be effective,” Commissioner Miller said. “The grain company started with four almond hull piles and has since removed over three-quarters of that number. While there is still work to be done, this triumph brings much-needed relief to the city of Levelland. TDA will continue to support Hockley County as they endure their battle against this pest invasion.”

A new shipment of almond hulls is expected to be delivered to Levelland at the end of October. This shipment will contain only five rail cars, in place of the typical one hundred rail car count. Almond hulls will be fumigated in the rail car before departing California.

“Foggers are being used as trucks are being loaded,” Miller stated. “This is to help eliminate any beetles that may be present in the almond hull pile and are trying to fly away.”

TDA inspectors have placed over 30 traps surrounding the Penny Newman facility, including the Kauffman Park area. TDA inspectors will continue to thoroughly monitor traps to ensure beetle quantities maintain a steady decline.

Once the infected almond hull piles at the Penny Newman Grain Company have been completely removed, the city’s licensed inspectors will treat surrounding neighborhoods with the insecticide Perm-X.

Once the infected almond hull piles have been removed and the surrounding neighborhoods have been treated, TDA expects the infestation to cease.

Homeowners who are looking for licensed pesticide applicators can go to the Texas Department of Agriculture website, https://www.texasagriculture.gov/Regulatory-Programs/Structural-Pest-Control-Service/Pest-Control-Business-Licensee-Web-Search, to find a licensed business.

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