Economically Devastating Insects Intercepted at DC Airports

Mar 9, 2018

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One of the world’s most destructive insects was found in two Washington DC-area airports this year by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The Khapra beetle was found at both Baltimore (BWI) and Washington Dulles (IAD) international airports in 2018, according to a release from CBP.

“[The] Khapra beetle, is one of the world’s most destructive insect pests of stored grains, cereals and seeds, and it presents potentially crippling economic consequences to grain and cereal exporters such as the United States,” CBP said in the release.  “Due to those consequences, Khapra beetle remains the only insect in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection takes regulatory action, even when the insect is in a dead state.”

Four live adult beetles, 12 live larvae, and several dead larvae and cast skins were found in a bag of basmati rice brought in from Saudi Arabia at Washington Dulles (IAD) on January 24.

At BWI, two live adult beetles were found, one dead immature larva, and several cast skins in a bag of cow peas brought from Nigeria on February 23.

“Khapra beetle is one of the most invasive and destructive insects that Customs and Border Protection may encounter, and it poses a significant threat to our nation’s agriculture industries and to our export economy,” said Dianna Bowman, CBP Area Port Director for Baltimore.

Featured image by the US Customs and Border Protection. 

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