Several destructive beetles were discovered by customs agents in luggage arriving at O’Hare International Airport in two separate incidents last week.
The Khapra beetles and evidence of infestation were discovered by K-9 officer Emeril, who alerted to a passenger’s baggage arriving from India on July 8, according to U.S Customs and Border Protection.
Undeclared food items including pickled mutton, curry leaves, fruits, seeds, raw peanuts and rice, all with visible live pests, were intercepted, according to a statement from the agency.
In a separate incident, customs agents found Khapra beetle cast skins on dried leaves inside plastic bags containing rice and spices while inspecting the baggage of a passenger from Iraq at O’Hare on June 27.
“Due to the significant agricultural threat posed by these pests, all food items were seized and the specimens were forwarded to the local USDA Plant Inspection Station, where they were positively identified and destroyed,” according to the CBP.
The Khapra beetle is one of the world’s most destructive pests and extremely difficult to eradicate.