Newark, N.J. - U. S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted the khapra beetle again. For the CBP Agriculture Specialists at the Port of New York/New Jersey this is their 10th Khapra Beetle interception in the last 30 days.
On Sept. 20, CBP inspected a shipment manifested as bags of safflower seeds arriving from India to the Port of New York/New Jersey. They found one live and three dead larvae, which were later confirmed as the khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium everts (Dermestidae), a very destructive agricultural pest.
"CBP Agriculture Specialists continually demonstrate their vigilance in intercepting these extremely destructive pests that could wreak significant damage to our agricultural and economic interests", said Robert E. Perez, director of field operations for CBP's New York Field Office.
These pests were found by CBP on the bags of safflower seeds; specimens were sent as an urgent interception to the USDA for identification after CBP closed the container for safeguarding. Once the specimens were identified as the khapra beetle, CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer. Due to the impermeable nature of the bags used for the safflower seeds re-exportation or destruction of the product are the only available options.
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, the 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.