Prohibited fruit host for harmful pest
DALLAS -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport found 13 live larvae in a package of jujubes.
A traveler, arriving from Sudan, declared agriculture items after landing at DFW. CBP agriculture specialists inspected the traveler’s luggage including over 2 pounds of jujubes (Ziziphus sp.) Jujubes are a small, date-like fruit commonly found in Asia and the Middle East. Jujube fruit is prohibited from entry into the United States from most countries due to the potential pest risk, as they are host material for a variety of pests.
Further examination of the jujubes resulted in the interception of 13 live larvae, possibly Khapra beetle. The larvae were forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for identification and confirmed as Khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium Everts (Dermestidae).
“Travelers can be assured that CBP’s mission to protect our nation’s agriculture is a top priority,” said Dallas Area Port Director Cleatus P. Hunt, Jr. “CBP agriculture specialists work diligently to prevent pests and prohibited agriculture items from entering our country.”
Khapra beetles can wreak havoc on grain products and seeds. They also have a high tolerance against insecticides and fumigants, and are a significant threat to the U.S. agriculture. The seized items were destroyed by steam sterilization. The traveler properly declared the items and therefore was not assessed a penalty.
Travelers are encouraged to visit the CBP website to find out what food products they can bring into the U.S. On a typical day in fiscal year 2016, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 404 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,638 materials for quarantine. These materials included plants, meat, soil and animal byproducts.
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.