Baltimore CBP Intercepts First Brown Fir Longhorned Beetle
Baltimore - A U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist confirmed over the weekend that a recent Customs and Border Protection insect discovery was the agency's first interception of a Brown Fir Longhorned Beetle in Baltimore.
The highly invasive wood-boring relative to the Asian Longhorned Beetle arrived inside a container of crafts from China March 4. A CBP officer discovered the insect during a comprehensive examination of the container's contents March 17.
A local USDA entomologist last Monday confirmed the insect to be a Callidiellum villosulum, and the USDA this weekend confirmed this to be the first time CBP agriculture specialists have encountered the Brown Fir Longhorned Beetle in the Port of Baltimore.
"Wood-boring insects pose a serious threat to our nation's forests and to our timber industries, particularly during their voracious larval period. Intercepting these invasive insect pests at our ports of entry is a Customs and Border Protection agriculture priority," said CBP Baltimore Port Director Ricardo Scheller. "CBP agriculture specialists remain determined to work with our trade partners and to take appropriate measures to mitigate any potential reoccurrence."
The Brown Fir Longhorned Beetle hails from East Asia and poses a threat to some species of trees and landscape plants. Discoveries of Brown Fir Longhorned Beetles forced the USDA to suspend certain wooden craft imports from China in 2005.
CBP initially selected the container for a routine trade enforcement inspection upon its arrival to Baltimore March 4, and ordered it moved to its central examination station. During devanning March 11, CBP officers noticed that the wood crating was made of non-compliant wood packing material.
All wood packing materials, such as pallets, crates, boxes and pieces of bracing, must meet strict International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) import requirements and be free of timber pests before entering or transiting through the United States. Wood packing material is to be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide. Compliant wood materials must also be marked with an IPPC logo.
CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer requiring the non-compliant wood to be re-exported.
A CBP officer discovered the insect pest while sorting the non-compliant wood material from the remaining contents.
"CBP agriculture specialists take very serious our mission of protecting American agriculture and each pest interception emphasizes the importance of our efforts," said Scheller.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargoes nationally being imported to the United States and seize 4,291 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 454 insect pests.
Please contact Steve Sapp at (215) 594-4117 or Stephen.Sapp@cbp.dhs.gov for photo of the Callidiellum villosulum.
To learn more about CBP agriculture specialists, please visit the following website. L1
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.