LEWISTON, U.S. - Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at the Lewiston Bridge discovered live Khapra Beetle larvae, one of the world’s most destructive insect pests, inside a shipment of rain ponchos from China.
On Oct. 28, 2014, an ocean container being hauled by a commercial tractor arrived at the Lewiston Bridge and was referred for examination. During inspection of the commodity, CBP agriculture specialists discovered three live insect larvae. The container was sealed and the pest was forwarded to USDA for identification.
On Oct. 30, a USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Plant Protection and Quarantine entomologist identified the pest as the Khapra Beetle. The shipment was sealed and re-exported to Canada.
“Intercepting Khapra Beetle is vital to the agriculture industry,” said Randy Howe, director of Field Operations for the CBP Buffalo Field Office. “In this case, it isn’t common for Khapra Beetle to be discovered within this type of commodity. The vigilance of the agriculture specialists was extraordinary and stopped a potentially destructive insect from entering.”
Khapra Beetle is one of the world’s most destructive insect pests of grains, cereals and stored foods. Known as the ‘dirty feeder,’ it damages more grain than it consumes because it contaminates grain with body parts and hairs. These contaminants may cause gastrointestinal irritation in adults and sickens infants.
Khapra Beetles have the ability to tolerate insecticides and fumigants, and can survive for long periods without food. Khapra Beetle is the only insect in which CBP takes regulatory action against when found dead or alive.