NORFOLK, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Agriculture Specialists at the Port of Norfolk discovered the skins of four destructive Khapra Beetle larva in a shipment of rice from Pakistan on September 8.
The skins were found inside a sea container shipment under a plastic liner between the rice and the container floor, according to a release from the CBP.
An emergency action notification was initiated for the shipment to be immediately re-exported.
The specimens were submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture for testing and Norfolk customs officials received confirmation at they were Khapra Beetles.
The Khapra Beetle is considered one of the world’s most destructive insect pests of grains, cereals and stored foods. They are labeled as 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.
This is the second Khapra Beetle detection this year. There were three Khapra Beetle interceptions last year.