The US Customs and Border Patrol says it has intercepted one of the world’s most destructive pests of stored grains, cereals and seeds at two Washington-area airports this year.
The insects were reportedly brought into the United States from Nigeria (23 February) and another from Saudi Arabia (24 January).
An agency release Thursday said agriculture specialists at Washington Dulles International Airport and Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport recently encountered the Khapra beetle, the only insect it takes regulatory action against.
The statement describes the insect as having the potential to economically cripple exporters.
Dulles specialists found four live adults, 12 live larvae, and several dead larvae and cast skins January 24 in rice a Washington resident brought from Saudi Arabia.
BWI specialists found two live adults, one dead immature larva, and several cast skins February 23 in cow peas a New York City resident brought from Nigeria.