Newark, NJ - The "Beetle Invasion Tour" was stopped prematurely by skilled and alert U. S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists recently at the Port of New York/Newark
On August 19, CBPAS inspected a shipment of rice arriving from Pakistan to the Port of NY/NJ. They found two dead larvae, which were later confirmed as the Khapra Beetle-Trogoderma granarium Everts (Dermestidae), a very destructive agricultural pest. This is the second occurrence of the Khapra Beetle being found at the Port of NY/NJ in a shipment of rice in the last month.
"CBP agriculture specialists have once again made a critical intercept of a destructive pest that could potentially cause grave damage to our agricultural and economical vitality," said Robert E. Perez, director, field operations, New York field office.
This pest was found by CBPAS along the outside seams of these bags; the specimen was 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 Trogoderma granarium Everts (Dermestidae) CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer. Due to the physical status of the commodity and the packing material used for the importation (double-bagged in burlap and plastic) re-exportation or destruction 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.