US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Another Successful Month For CBP Agricultural Specialists In International Falls

Release Date: 
December 22, 2015

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. — It’s been a busy December for U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the International Falls Port of Entry. The International Falls POE is one of the busiest rail ports in America. Cargo from South Asia enters the port at International Falls, proceeding to destinations around the U.S.

Since early December, CBP agriculture specialists have inspected last-minute rail shipments with goods originating from South Asia. Several of the shipments proved to contain several undesirable pests that are considered dangerous to our agriculture crops, forest products, landscape and economy.

A destructive weevil intercepted by CBP at International Falls Port of Entry

Destructive weevil intercepted by CBP at International Falls Port of Entry

Four notable seizures this month included several new pests, and some first-in-nation pest interceptions included:

  • In a shipment of pipe fittings from Malaysia destined to Arizona, two new pests were discovered along with federal noxious weed seeds. One of the new pests was Trachelizini sp., a member of the weevil species. This pest is an unusual looking weevil, and little is known about its existence. A second type of weevil found in the same container, Hormocerus sp., was considerably larger and considered a wood-boring pest.
  • During the inspection of a shipment of nuts and bolts from Taiwan destined to Ohio CBP Agriculture Specialists discovered four different types of insects as well as some federal noxious weeds. The insects were Alticinae sp., known as a flee beetle, and is a major agricultural pest. The Cnapalocrocis medinalis is a major pest of corn, rice and sorghum.All the stages of the crop is attacked by this pest. The Nilaparvata lugens or brown plant hopper is a pest on rice and transport two types of plant viruses. The Malestas dorsalis is a minor pest of rice but known to be a vector of tungro virus, rice gall dwarf disease, and the sole vector of the orange leaf MLO disease.
  • In a shipment of stone products from China bound for Minnesota, a “true” bug was intercepted. Rhopalus maculatus is a true bug that lacks well-developed scent glands and gives its common name as a Scentless Plant Bug.Plant bugs are plant feeders and feed on a variety of plants including agriculture crops and landscape florae. Currently 18 genera and over 200 species of rhopalids are known to exist.

  • The inspection of a shipment of gear housings from China destined to North Carolina produced a well-known pest of the south eastern states, Helicoverpa armigera. This pest is commonly known as the cotton bollworm. It is a major pest of cotton, tomatoes, maize, chick peas, alfalfa and tobacco.

“These interceptions at the International Falls/Rainer POE emphasize the importance of agriculture inspection at the Canadian border,” said Port Director Anthony Jackson. “CBP agriculture specialists are the first line of defense in protecting our borders from harmful pests and diseases that could adversely affect our food production.”

Malestas dorsalis found in shipment of nuts and bolts from Taiwan

Malestas dorsalis found in shipment of nuts and bolts from Taiwan

CBP agriculture specialists intercept tens of thousands of “actionable pests” – those identified through a scientific risk assessment and study as being dangerous to the health and safety of the U.S. agriculture resources. The potential economic loss from the establishment of these destructive pests in the U.S. heartland is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars due to crop yield and quality loss. CBP continues its work in enabling legitimate trade, contributing to the American economic prosperity, and protecting against risks to public health and safety. Learn more at Protecting Agriculture.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017