Newark, N.J. - On July 26, Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the port of New York/Newark found a pest that was confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Khapra Beetle Trogoderma granarium Everts (Dermestidae).
This pest was found in a shipment of rice coming from Pakistan located on the exterior of a polyurethane bag filled with rice with one cast skin and one dead larva. The specimens were sent as an urgent interception to the USDA for identification after CBP closed the container for safeguarding.
The USDA identified the specimens as Khapra Beetle Trogoderma granarium Everts (Dermestidae) and CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer. Because of the physical status of the commodity and the packing material used for the importation (plastic bags) re-exportation or destruction were 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.
"This is just another example of meticulous attention to detail and dedication to duty by our agriculture specialists," said 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.