NOGALES, Ariz. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Mariposa commercial cargo facility here discovered Claudinerobius slateri, an insect never before found in the United States.
“These interceptions are exactly what keep Nogales CBP agriculture specialists motivated every day to protect our nation from invasions of harmful foreign insects, as well as plant and animal diseases,” said Port Director Guadalupe Ramirez.
On March 20, agriculture specialists were inspecting a commercial shipment of celery from Mexico when they found the insect. Local U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel officially identified the specimen on March 23. According to available records in the Pest Identification Database, the USDA’s National Identification Services on March 30 confirmed this is the first time this pest has been intercepted at a U.S. port of entry. The shipment was fumigated for eventual release into U.S. commerce.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in agricultural and biological inspections. Their historic mission of preventing the introduction of harmful plant pests into the United States provides CBP with the expertise needed to recognize and prevent the entry of organisms that could potentially devastate entire segments of our agriculture-related economy.
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.