(Des Moines) Inspectors at the port of Chicago recently spotted “Enemy number one” – in a shipment of rice. The Khapra Beetle is native to India, but has spread to other Middle Eastern countries and Africa. I-S-U Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says it’s highly destructive to row crops,
“Many invasive species have made it to the United States. Many of them established undetected, this is one that has been looked for for a long long time.”
He says it’s been spotted in U-S ports before, but is always stopped. Other invasive species have managed to wiggle through the system, such as emerald ash borer and the Japanese beetle, but Lewis says because of the Khapra’s danger to agriculture, inspectors are always looking for it.
Iowa Radio Network