Norfolk, VA - U.S. Customs and Border Agriculture Specialists assigned to the Norfolk, Virginia Port of Entry intercepted four Khapra Beetle larva cast skins in a shipment of rice originating from Pakistan, on Thursday, September 8th. An emergency action notification was initiated for the shipment to be immediately re-exported.
The skins were found inside a sea container shipment under a plastic liner between the rice and the container floor. Specimens were submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture for testing and Norfolk Customs officials received confirmation that the specimens were Khapra Beetles. This is the second Khapra Beetle detection this year. There were three Khapra Beetle interceptions last year.
“I am proud of my Agriculture Specialists,” said Mark J. Laria, CBP Area Port Director for Norfolk. “This is another example of their relentless effort to protect American agriculture from invasive pests and diseases.”
The Khapra Beetle is considered one of the world’s most destructive insect pests of grains, cereals and stored foods. The Khapra Beetle is labeled a ‘dirty feeder’ because it damages more grain than it consumes, and because it contaminates grain with body parts and hairs. These contaminants may cause gastrointestinal irritation in adults and especially sickens infants. Khapra Beetles can also tolerate insecticides and fumigants, and can survive for long periods of time without food. This species remains the only insect in which CBP takes regulatory action against even while in a dead state. CBP Officers and Agriculture Specialist at U.S. ports of entry and international mail facilities target, detect, intercept, and thereby prevent the entry of these potential threats before they have a chance to do any harm. CBP Agriculture Specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect over 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 4,657 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 464 agriculture pests and diseases.
Learn more about CBP’s agriculture protection mission.
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.