Destructive beetles found on cargo ship

by Tim Flanagan on February 21, 2009

Jackson Holtz has the story in the Everett Herald:

Earlier this month, steroids [U.S. Customs] agents found an infestation of the potentially destructive Khapra beetle — Trogoderma granarium — aboard a cargo ship at the Port of Everett.

The beetles were found crawling among rice and beans among other food stores, contagion [U.S. Customs spokesman Mike] Milne said.

A follow up investigation found more beetles in various life stages in galley spice cabinets and hidden between cushions on a dining bench.

“As long as they’re caught and not spread, there’s usually not a lot of concern,” University of Florida entomologist Thomas Fasulo said.

Once loose, the beetle can reproduce quickly and cause devastation among food crops. The bug can’t fly. It’s carried among cargo.

“This is considered one of the worst stored-grain pests in the world,” Fasulo said.

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