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Destructive beetle found in rice shipment at LAX

Customs officials say they intercepted one of the world’s most destructive grain and seed pests during an inspection at Los Angeles International Airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection say inspectors discovered a bug known as the khapra beetle last week in a bag of Indian rice that a passenger was bringing from Saudi Arabia on a Dec. 29 flight. The bag was destroyed.

The khapra beetle is dangerous, officials say, because it feeds on grain and is tolerant to many insecticides.

“They’re good at hiding and they multiply,” said Naveeda Mirza, the inspection agency’s agriculture program manager. “Before you know it, half of your grain is gone."

In the 1960s, the state of California spent millions of dollars to eradicate a khapra beetle infestation in the state, Mirza said.

Inspectors discover pests in luggage every day, said Mizra, who urged international travelers to avoid packing food.

“Chocolate, candy, maybe that’s OK,” she said. “But beans and rice that you’re bringing for your own consumption, it’s better to just buy it here.”

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-- Kate Linthicum

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

 
Comments () | Archives (4)

Who packs rice when they travel!!!!

When are people going to learn that you can't take any plant or food from one country to another? Why would a guy bring a bag of rice? What, we don't have rice in this country? Or is it that our rice isn't good enough for him?

Terrorist plot?

Why would anyone bring rice from Saudi Arabia all the way to the US unless they had knowledge of the beatle? Rice? Look at the picture, the bugs are obviously there. IDIOTS from another country; if you want to come into this country or live in this country, then leave your infected crap in the country you came from!!
We get bugs, diseases, etc from people who have come from outside the US.


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