facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Imported container held invasive beetle

June 17, 2009 at 1:40 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, June 17 (UPI) -- A customs official says inspectors in Detroit found a highly invasive beetle inside a container being shipped into the United States from China.

Customs and Border Protection Chief Ronald Smith said the insect found in a shipment of tiles could have potentially wreaked havoc on the agricultural industry in the United States had it not been caught, Detroit's WDIV-TV reported Tuesday.

"It's called a Khapra beetle," Smith said of the recent customs discovery. "It's on the top 10 of the worst bugs that could try and come into the country."

"One-third of our gross domestic product is from agriculture, if we have any type of agriculture calamity, it's going to be devastating to our economy," customs agriculture expert Mark Danklefsen told WDIV-TV of the threat the country avoided with the beetle's discovery.

The Detroit Free Press said the Khapra beetle has twice threatened the U.S. agriculture industry, once in the 1950s and again in 1980.

While in both instances, the beetle was eradicated, Smith said the Khapra species remains one creature that customs officials are always looking for in U.S. imports.

Topics: Ronald Smith
© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Northrop Grumman developing reusable space plane for lifting spacecraft into orbit
2
American photojournalist James Wright Foley executed by Islamic State
3
Britain pardons World War II code-breaker castrated for homosexuality
4
New York Post defies #ISISMediablackout with graphic James Foley cover
5
Texas man on trial for 'public execution' of drunk driver
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback