US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

CBP Detains Unwanted Holiday Traveler At JFK

Release Date: 
December 29, 2011

Jamaica, N.Y. - The unwanted Khapra Beetle posing as a holiday traveler was detained by proficient and vigilant U. S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

On December 25, a container labeled as "personal effects" originating from Saudi Arabia arrived at JFK Airport and was subjected to a CBP inspection. During this examination CBP Agriculture Specialists found a plastic bag containing dried seeds, roots and spices. This bag contained 29 live immature insects and 67 casings, which were suspected to be the Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma Granarium Everts).

"CBP Agriculture Specialists are constantly on the alert for those pests that could cause grave danger to our Agriculture and Economic future, this latest intercept is proof positive of just that," said Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office.

The specimens were submitted to the U. S. Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for further identification. On December 27, USDA/APHIS personnel provided a final determination to CBP confirming the specimens as Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma Granarium Everts). This shipment is being re-exported due to the significant risk presented by this pest; CBP has sealed this shipment pending exportation.

The Khapra Beetle is an extremely serious pest of grain and other stored products. This pest may also show up in a variety of locations that are not obvious food sources such as burlap bags, corrugated boxes (where they feed on the glue) and animal hides. Native to India, Khapra beetle has spread to other countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Near East, pockets of Europe and Eastern Asia. It has been nominated as one of the 100 worst invasive species worldwide.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017