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Port of Norfolk CBP Intercepts First in the Nation Pest

Release Date: 
February 15, 2012

NORFOLK, VA.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists in the Port of Norfolk have made a first in the nation pest interception of the red mason bee.

Osmia rufa

Red Mason Bee

On Feb. 2, a containerized shipment of household goods originating from the United Kingdom was inspected by CBP. Upon inspection, an unknown pest was discovered within a rolled rug. CBP Agricultural Specialists were contacted and with the assistance of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Entomologist, identified the pest as pupae, or Osmia rufa, more commonly know as a red mason bee. The red mason bee is commonly found in the United Kingdom, and is not established in the United States. The intercepted pupae were confirmed to have parasitic mites, and subsequently, if allowed in the United States could have a devastating impact on the U.S. honey bee population. The shipment will be fumigated prior to release.

"The Port of Norfolk has a dedicated group of Agriculture Specialists protecting this country from the introduction of harmful pests and plant diseases," said Mark Laria, area Port Director in Norfolk. "I am very proud of their efforts."

CBP Agriculture Specialists protect the United States from the threat of invasive pests and diseases through inspection, detection and prevention efforts designed to keep prohibited agricultural items from entering the country.