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CBP Agriculture Specialists Intercept Several Invasive Pests

CBP Agriculture Specialists Intercept Several Invasive Pests

on the Northern Border

PEMBINA, NORTH DAKOTA ~~~  Mat 6, 2020 (LSN)  U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) issued 193 emergency action notifications during the first quarter of 2020.  Emergency action notifications are issued when containers are found with prohibited pests.  

CBPAS in Portal found a propagule of mission grass on wood packing material from Vietnam.  This federal noxious weed is an invasive species that spreads by seed.  Native to tropical Africa, mission grass has been introduced in several countries as feed for cattle only to quickly invade cultivated fields and overtake crops.

Also in Portal, CBPAS targeted a rail shipment.  During the inspection, several wood boring beetle trails were carved into the wood on one of the pallets holding the cargo.  Following the trails resulted in finding four live wood boring beetle larvae. The larva was identified as longhorn beetles.  Longhorn beetles are some of the most destructive pests of wood, causing losses to the timber industry, wildlife habitat, as well as urban landscapes.  

During an inspection of a rail container in International Falls, Minnesota, CBPAS intercepted cast exoskeletons of larval khapra beetles.  Khapra beetle is one of the most destructive pests of stored seeds, grains, and grain products in the world. Larvae of khapra beetle are covered in fine hair, which contaminate and spoil the products they infest, causing skin irritation and gastrointestinal distress if consumed.  This tiny beetle can live in a larval state for up to seven years with minimal food and is highly resistant to insecticides.  Because of this, phytosanitary action is required when it is intercepted alive, dead, or if the cast exoskeleton is found.

CBPAS in Pembina encountered citizens of Ghana returning to their residence in the United States. Various food items were declared including dried fish, papaya, spices, and snacks.  While inspecting their luggage, a package was identified that contained bushmeat.  Bushmeat is a term given to unidentified wildlife for human consumption from Africa.  The wildlife in many cases is not preserved or prepared in a way that would kill disease and can be a source of many communicable diseases including Ebola. The bushmeat was seized and destroyed.

“These agriculture seizures show the significant priority Customs and Border Protection (CBP) places on our agriculture inspection program at our ports of entry,” said Pembina Area Port Director Jason Schmelz.  “Preventing harm to domestic crops and vegetation is an important role our Agriculture Specialists provide this country.”

CBP Agriculture Sspecialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S.  They safeguard American agriculture by stopping plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm vital agriculture resources at our nation’s borders.


Attached photo of 

  1. Exoskeleton



U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Lake Superior News U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.





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