World’s Most Destructive Insect Found At BWI, Dulles Airports

World’s Most Destructive Insect Found At BWI, Dulles Airports

A beetle impervious to insecticides, but that can sicken people when it contaminates grains and cereals, was found at BWI and Dulles airports.

A small but economically devastating insect, the Khapra beetle, was found in passenger bags by federal officials at BWI Airport and Dulles Airport. The beetle is deemed “one of the world’s most destructive insect pests of stored grains, cereals and seeds,” according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Because the beetle is difficult to kill — it can survive insecticides and fumigants, and stay alive even during long periods without food — customs agents take regulatory action, even if the insect is dead.

The Khapra beetle can invade stored grains, cereals and seeds. This destructive invader is labeled a ‘dirty feeder’ because it damages more grain than it consumes. Grain and seeds become contaminated with body parts and hairs, while its droppings can cause gastrointestinal irritation in adults and especially sicken infants.

“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. “Protecting America’s agricultural resources is of paramount concern to CBP, and it’s a mission that our agriculture specialists take very serious.”

All of the contaminated foods were incinerated.

Image result for khapra beetle

Currently all infestations discovered in the US have been eradicated. Any possible adults or larvae of this species discovered in the US should be immediately reported to the regulatory service.

See news report here.

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