Jamaica, N.Y. - Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists at JFK International Airport on March 4, 2010 detected an immature life stage of an insect during an exam of dried beans contained in a sealed plastic jar.
The shipment was part of a consolidated shipment of personal effects originating from India and manifested as kitchenware, clothing and food. The specimen was submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection Station in Jamaica, N.Y. for identification. CBP took all necessary measures to ensure that the balance of the personal effects shipment was safeguarded; the infested material was seized and destroyed.
The USDA Entomologist tentatively identified the pest as Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium) on the date when the insect was first detected. The specimen was subsequently submitted to a USDA National Entomology Specialist later that same day for a final determination and was positively identified as the Khapra Beetle. CBP was notified by the USDA after an exhaustive investigation that this in fact was the dangerous insect known as the Khapra Beetle.
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, 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.
"This is just the latest example of meticulous attention to detail and dedication to duty by our agriculture specialists," stated Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office. "The continued vigilance of our agriculture specialists has ensured that these dangerous pests do not end up in our Nation's crops."
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.