IN THE 1910S, COFFEE CROPS around the world began to suffer a mysterious ailment. When plucked from the tree, the coffee fruit, usually plump and crimson, was riddled with round holes, and the damaged beans inside were nearly useless. Growers soon discovered that the culprit was a small beetle, the coffee berry borer, which has spread through the world like a caffeine-eating plague. Where did it come from? How could growers eradicate it?
Read more at Atlas Obscura. Cover photo: Coffee berry crawling with the very gross coffee berry borer beetle, L. Shyamal CC BY-SA 3.0