CBP Khapra Beetle Interceptions Surpass 2010 Numbers
WASHINGTON, D.C.—This calendar year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists around the country have made over 158 Khapra Beetle interceptions. This is more than the total interceptions in calendar year 2010. The interceptions were made in the passenger, air and sea cargo environment in eleven CBP field offices, including Detroit.
The Khapra Beetle, Trogoderma granarium Everts, is one of the world's most destructive stored-product pests. It is difficult to control once introduced into a region because it feeds on a variety of dried materials, is resistant to insecticides, and can go long periods without food. Infestations can result in up to 70 percent grain damage, making products inedible and unmarketable.
In 2005 and 2006, Khapra Beetle interceptions at U.S. ports of entry were three to six per year. The number began to increase in 2007, and for the next three years, CBP interceptions nationwide averaged 15 per year. So far in 2011, as of Aug 26, 2011, ports of entry in the Detroit Field Office, Detroit Land, Detroit Air, Port Huron and Sault Ste Marie, have made 7 confirmed interceptions with another 5 awaiting final identification confirmation from USDA identifiers.
"Tracking the nationwide interceptions during 2005 through 2007, CBP saw a need for increased training and with the help of U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, developed it and deployed it to the field," said Christopher Perry, Director Field Operations, Detroit Field Office. "The results of that training can be seen in the increased success of our Agriculture Specialist in interdicting this pest before it can be introduced into our agricultural system to cause damage."
After the training was deployed to CBP field offices in January 2010, a significant increase in Khapra Beetle interceptions were made. The training includes guidance for Khapra Beetle detection at airports, seaports, both the northern and southern border, preclearance, mail/express courier facilities, and military equipment and facilities. Currently, the U.S. has no known areas infested by the Khapra Beetle.
Due to the increasing number of interceptions at ports of entry over the last year, on July 30, 2011, the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service established restrictions on the importation of commercial and noncommercial shipments of rice from countries where Khapra Beetle is known to occur. For more information about restrictions on countries where Khapra beetle is known to occur, contact APHIS' Plant Protection and Quarantine Permits Unit at (877) 770-5990 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"CBP agriculture specialists and CBP officers take their role of protecting our nation's agriculture very seriously," said Perry. "They are a critical part of CBP's mission to protect our nation against all potential threats."
The Khapra Beetle originated in South Asia and is now present throughout much of northern Africa and the Middle East, with a limited presence in Asia, Europe, and southern Africa. In the U.S., Khapra Beetles were first found in California in 1953, which began a massive control and eradication effort until 1966. The infestation was successfully eradicated by fumigation in the U.S. and Mexico at a cost of approximately $11 million.
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.