August 25, 2011 by staff
Khapra Beetle, When the ship reached the port of New York and New Jersey, the feds were on the hunt for public enemy number 1. And they found – the beetle larvae of the dreaded Khapra in a shipment of rice from Pakistan.
It may not sound much, but the pest could wreak havoc on agriculture and economic development if allowed to infiltrate the U.S.
Originally from India, is considered one of the 100 worst invasive species around the world and can destroy the grain, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The intervention in Newark earlier this month, two dead larvae were found in the seams of the bags of rice and tests confirmed that the error was terrible.
What is happening more and more?
Last week, the same error was found in 10 bags of rice on the Chicago O’Hare airport, and there have been recent reports from Washington and Baltimore.
In the first four months of this year, agents intercepted 44 times beetle in U.S. ports – More than in the past year.
The importer has the option of having the load returned or destroyed.
The beetle was first discovered on our shores in 1953, the government spent 15 million to eradicate it, according to experts at the University of Florida.
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