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October 30, 09

NEWS / CBP in Houston Makes Important Pest Discoveries

Houston - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agricultural specialists at the seaport discovered three hitchhiking insects that according to U.S. Department of Agriculture is the first time nationally they have been found in the United States.

The insects were stowaways in several shipments of tile from Italy.

ďCBP agriculture specialists actively inspect cargo and produce shipments for foreign pests and disease that has a potential to attack our nationís agriculture and natural resources,Ē said Jeffrey O. Baldwin, director of Field Operations, Houston field office. ďCBPís highly trained and dedicated agriculture specialists continue this important work created by Congress in 1912 to protect our nationís agriculture. Texas and Oklahoma are critical agriculture production states, and it is CBPís job to protect their crops from invasive and injurious pests and diseases.Ē

The USDA identified these agriculture pests on October 21 as Ceralaptus gracilicornis, Chorthippus albomarginatus, and the Kervillea conspurcata. The insects are a grasshopper, green stinkbug, and a small brown plant hopper. Even though they are common names, these specific species do not reside in the U.S. and are harmful to crops and plants.

A moth was also found during agricultural inspections, which was later identified as another agriculture pest, Emmelia trabealis. USDA determined this interception as being the second time this insect was found nationally. The first record of this pest interception was in Houston in July 2007. This insect is also harmful to crops.

The shipment was fumigated and released to the importer.

CBP employs agriculture specialists to inspect cargo, conveyances, personal goods, and individuals arriving into the United States at every major international airport, seaport and land border ports of entry. CBP agriculture specialists screen and inspect imported products in order to prevent the introduction and establishment of harmful pests and diseases.




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