COMMISSIONER MILLER CONTINUES TO SUPPORT HOCKLEY COUNTY IN FIGHT AGAINST BEETLE INFESTATION > Texas Department of Agriculture Website > News & Events
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COMMISSIONER MILLER CONTINUES TO SUPPORT HOCKLEY COUNTY IN FIGHT AGAINST BEETLE INFESTATION (2/12/2024)

For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2024

TDA continues to lend resources to Levelland to assist in ending the red flour beetle infestation


AUSTIN Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is actively collaborating alongside city officials to provide support to Hockley County residents. The recent resurgence of the red flour beetle in Levelland—initially reported in August 2023—has become a growing concern. Concerted efforts by TDA and local officials previously achieved significant headway in decreasing the infestation during cooler weather conditions. With warmer temperatures looming, TDA has implemented pest management strategies to halt a reoccurrence of the red flour beetle invasion swiftly and effectively.

"The Texas Department of Agriculture will continue to assist in every possible way,” Commissioner Miller said. “Our past measures have proven effective, and we believe our continued efforts will lead to success in mitigating this threat.”

Last fall, the city initiated targeted spraying methods to control the beetle infestation. However, the spraying could only be done at night when the temperature was above 50 degrees and the wind speed was below 10 miles per hour. Unfortunately, such weather conditions are rare in West Texas. Additionally, the pesticide spray needs to come into direct contact with the beetles to be effective. This is why TDA must monitor the movement of the red flour beetle from the Levelland Industrial Rail Park area into the Kauffman residential area through the agency’s highly effective traps.

TDA is working in partnership with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to deploy traps and target the regions most heavily affected. Traps will be deployed the week of February 12th and will be monitored weekly.

"A red flour beetle infestation can wreak havoc on stored grain supplies, causing significant economic losses for farmers and food distributors,” Commissioner Miller said. “It is crucial we mitigate such infestations to protect the safety and security of our food."

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Maddison Jaureguito
Director of Communications
Texas Department of Agriculture
(512) 475-1669 (Office)

Maddison.Jaureguito@TexasAgriculture.gov

More TDA press releases are available at TexasAgriculture.gov/Newsroom.

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