U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs at port of Baltimore catches tiny beetle with outsized capability for destruction

U.S. Customs at port of Baltimore catches tiny beetle with outsized capability for destruction

At a port that moves millions of tons of cargo each year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection specialists recently managed to find a single invasive bug —smaller than a grain of rice — and stop it from potentially causing a costly infestation.

Agents inspecting a shipment of screws from Thailand at the port of Baltimore on May 4 found four cast skins and one live adult Khapra beetle, the border agency said Friday. The beetle is considered one of the world's most destructive pests of grains, cereals and stored foods.

The beetle has been showing up at U.S. ports with increasing frequency in recent years, though it is not currently established in the United States. Its discovery...