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CBP Stops Notoriously Invasive Pests at LA/LB Seaport

Release Date: 
January 21, 2011

Los Angeles, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport intercepted live larvae of khapra beetle in a shipment of rice arriving from Pakistan.

On Jan. 13, CBP agriculture specialists inspected a shipment of basmati rice from Pakistan and intercepted the insect pest. Entomologists from the United States Department of Agriculture identified the insect as Trogoderma granarium Evert (Dermestidae) also known as khapra beetle, and confirmed that the specimen was a pest not established in the United States.

The khapra beetle is one of the world's most destructive pests of grain products and seeds.

CBP agriculture specialists inspected a shipment of basmati rice from Pakistan and intercepted the insect pest.

This interception marks the fourth seizure of khapra beetle by seaport agriculture specialists in the last two and half months. Since November 2010, CBP agriculture specialists have intercepted this noxious pest in shipments of basmati rice from India and Pakistan.

The khapra beetle is one of the world's most destructive pests of grain products and seeds. Established infestations are difficult to control because of the beetle's ability to live without food for long periods of time and to survive on foods of low moisture content, and its relative tolerance to many surface insecticides and fumigants.

"This exceptional discovery affirms and exhibits the high level of expertise and scientific knowledge CBP agriculture specialists have at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. Their vigilance and commitment proudly reflects CBP's mission in protecting the U.S. agriculture industry," said Carlos Martel, CBP's acting director of Los Angeles Field Operations

In fiscal year 2009, agriculture specialists seized more than 1.5 million prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 166,727 agricultural pests at ports of entry.

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