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CBP Discovers Invasive Beetles in Chickpea Shipment

Release Date: 
June 5, 2015

14-Ton Container Refused Entry at Oakland Seaport

San Francisco— U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at the Oakland seaport discovered evidence of a Khapra Beetle infestation while examining a shipment of chickpeas from India on May 28.

Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium)

Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium)

During the inspection, CBP agriculture specialists found what appeared to be Khapra Beetle exuvia and desiccated larvae inside sealed plastic bags containing chickpeas.  Closer examination of the chickpeas showed obvious feeding damage from the insects. Due to the significant agricultural threat, the containers were immediately reloaded and sealed, and the specimens were forwarded to the local USDA Plant Inspection Station where they were positively identified. The container holding 13,736 kg. of chickpeas, lentils, and other Indian foodstuffs was refused entry into the U.S. and will be re-exported.

Shipment of chickpeas from India

Seized shipment of chickpeas from India on May 28

“One of CBP’s most important missions is protecting the U.S. agriculture industry”, said Brian J. Humphrey, Director of Field Operations in San Francisco, “CBP agriculture specialists are at the frontline working to intercept harmful pests and diseases that could seriously affect our crops, our livestock, and ultimately the consumer.”

The Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is one of the world’s most destructive pests, posing a substantial risk to stored food products such as grains and packaged foods. Once infested the insects are extremely difficult to eradicate, since they can survive for long periods without food or moisture, and are resistant to many insecticides. Previous detections of Khapra beetle resulted in massive, long term control and eradication efforts at great cost to the American taxpayer. 

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017