The larvae of a beetle that can be harmful to grain were discovered in a shipment of welding wire at the International Falls port of entry last month, a news release says.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations agriculture specialists intercepted the Khapra beetle larvae in the commercial shipment from China at the port on May 12. The specimen was submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which identified it, and the shipment was sealed to prevent contamination.
“The Khapra beetle is a dangerous pest to American agriculture,” CBP Area Port Director Jason Schmelz said in a statement. “This discovery is an excellent example of how dedicated our agriculture specialists are in protecting our nation’s crops and natural resources.”
According to the University of Minnesota, the beetle is "under strict quarantine" from the U.S., noting it is a "voracious feeder of grain products."
CBP calls the Khapra beetle an "extremely serious threat" to stored grain and other stored products, noting it is considered one of the wold's "most destructive pests" of grain products and seeds.
The beetle has previously been discovered in packaging material like burlap bags, corrugated boxes and animal hides.
Khapra beetles are native to India, but have spread to other countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Near East, portions of Europe and Eastern Asia.
In other beetle news, people have been complaining about the presence of June bugs in Minnesota as of late.
The grubs feed on roots and the adults feed on plants. If food is plentiful in an area and winters aren’t harsh enough to knock down populations, populations will continue to expand until something changes that trajectory.