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Travelers Bring One Of World's Worst Invasive Species Through DFW

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is one of the largest airports in the world, but it seems smaller, more ruinous creatures (transported by humans) have been wiggling their way into North Texas.

According to agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Khapra beetles have been intercepted from passenger baggage on five different occasions in recent months.

The Trogoderma granarium Everts or Khapra beetle is considered the world's most destructive insect. The creatures destructive abilities include being able to destroy grain, cereal, and stored foods.

The Khapra beetles has the ability to be so problematic that it is the only insect that requires regulatory action, whether encountered dead or alive.

Customs and Border Protection Port Director Cleatus Hunt explained, Khapra beetles have devastating effects on our agriculture production because they consume and contaminate stored grains such as rice, wheat, and oats."

All of the cases at DFW Airport involved passengers not making declarations for food items. After being asked about transporting agricultural goods, all five people amended their original declaration.

When inspectors went through their luggage, cast skins and live larvae were found.

The Khapra beetles were in packages of rice, dried beans, coriander seeds, and fava beans that had arrived from Sudan and India. All of the materials were destroyed.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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