- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Michigan’s Port Huron found the remnants of an insect considered to be one of the world’s most destructive pests of grains, dry beans and other stored products while inspecting a shipment from India.

The specialists found cast skins they suspected were from khapra beetles during an inspection of a shipment of mung beans on Nov. 29, The Times Herald (https://bwne.ws/2hPhksM ) reported. The shipment wasn’t allowed into the country.

Two days later, entomologists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture positively identified the cast skins as being from khapra beetles.

The incident marked the fourth time khapra beetle remains had been found in a commercial shipment in Port Huron. All four of the shipments have been from commodities originating from India.

USDA statistics show that Michigan is one of the top five producers of dry edible beans in the U.S. In 2015, Michigan’s soybean production was a record 3.93 billion bushels.

The khapra beetle is one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Shipments containing remnants or specimens of the beetle, whether they’re alive or dead, aren’t allowed into the U.S.

Previous detections of the beetle have resulted in costly long-term control and eradication efforts, according to a fact sheet from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The invasive species originated in South Asia.

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Information from: Times Herald, https://www.thetimesherald.com

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