Prone to infestation by weevils. Infestation may be due to a certain type of weevil being inherent in the timber used in the construction of the container, particularly the "Borer" - a red beetle, which channels through the timber, the bore being roughly the size of a pin-head. Weevils are not inherent in the commodity itself, but penetrate from outside and are generally found between the foil and the paper, so that coconut infested in this manner can usually be disposed of after "brushing." Infested coconut can usually be screened and fumigated.
The usual methods of fumigation of ships' holds, lighters, warehouses, etc., are directed towards the prevention and control of quarantinable disease, and do not necessarily guarantee the destruction of the pests liable to attack desiccated coconut. This commodity is particularly liable to attack by the copra beetle, which is blue-black in appearance and is usually associated with copra kilns, stores, and copra go-downs, particularly in the case of lower grade copra. The usual source of attack is the place of production or storage of desiccated coconut, particularly when these are situated near copra stores.
Another beetle which attacks desiccated coconut is the saw tooth corn beetle which often infests copra, but is usually to be found in flour and grain and, in fact, where foodstuffs generally are available for feeding. It is particularly associated with moldy copra and if desiccated coconut is in the proximity of any of these commodities which have been infested the beetle may attack the coconut.
In order to avoid contamination at source there must be strict cleanliness in the factory, store or shop, and the prompt closing and sealing of cases after the desiccated coconut has been packed. After packing, the coconut should be kept clear of any other commodities liable to infestation.
Suitable packing may provide immunity from attack, glassine-lined paper bags having been found satisfactory. If packed wet, coconut will develop mold. Coconut is also liable to become rancid with age.
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