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September 5, 09

NEWS / Baltimore CBP Intercepts Insect Pest Rarely Seen in U.S.

Baltimore – Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists in Baltimore have confirmed that an insect pest that arrived aboard a shipping container recently from China is only the second interception of this pest in the United States in the past four years.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture pest identifier determined the insect species as Stenhomalus, from the Cerambycidae family, a family of insects commonly referred to as the long-horned beetle. Stenhomalus are described as quarantine significant voracious wood borers.

The previous reported discovery was in 2005, also in a shipping container from China.

“Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists carry out a critical mission to protect American agriculture at our nation’s borders against the introduction of destructive insect and plant pests,” said James Swanson, CBP port director for the Port of Baltimore.

A worker at a CBP bonded warehouse near the Dundalk Marine Terminal in Baltimore captured the beetle last Friday while unloading the container’s contents for CBP inspection.

CBP officers at the warehouse notified CBP agriculture specialists, who submitted the pest to the U.S. Department of Agriculture pest identifier. On Monday, the USDA pest identifier determined the species is in the subfamily Cerambicinae, which elevates the risk potential of this pest.

“This isn’t simply an exciting Customs and Border Protection milestone,” said Swanson. “This is a shared event to be equally celebrated by the bonded warehouse workers, CBP officers and agriculture specialists, and the USDA. It is further proof that it takes a cooperative effort by all of us to protect America against dangerous things.”

The container, which contained general commercial goods, was fumigated.




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