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Beetle Poses Threat to Western Nebraska Grape Growers

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) -- A beetle that's partial to grapes has surfaced in western Nebraska and poses a threat to grape growers.

According to the North Platte Telegraph, green June beetles were found in Lincoln County.

Dave Boxler is an entomologist for the West Central Research and Extension Center, and he says the bugs like sugars such as those in tree sap and overripe fruit -- especially grapes.

Boxler says the beetles can ruin a crop because they eat and defecate on the fruit.

The bugs are native to the eastern and southern parts of the U.S. and common in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Boxler says experts think the bugs are moving north and west because of warmer conditions and milder winters over the past 10 years.

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