BALTIMORE – A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed November 13 that U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists discovered a new pest in the Baltimore area when they intercepted Xylotrechus rufilius, a type of longhorn beetle, while inspecting a container of ceramic tile from China on October 31.
According to USDA, the Chinese Longhorn Beetle is native to Asia. They can pose a significant agriculture threat to orchard trees but they are also known to attack a wide range of forest and landscaping trees, boring holes into their trunks, and eventually killing them.
“CBP agriculture specialists are very good at detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests,” said Dianna Bowman CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. “This discovery highlights the importance of the work they do, part of which is protecting the U.S. agriculture industry.”
CBP discovered the beetle at the Baltimore Centralized Examination Station “at large” inside a container of ceramic tiles destined for Eldersburg, Md.
CBP safeguarded the shipment and forwarded the specimen to USDA - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) - Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) for identification. The local entomologist identified the beetle as Xylotrechus rufilius which was confirmed by the USDA national identifier on November 13.
The shipment of tile will be re-exported.
CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA to protect our nation’s agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.
Visit the USDA's webpage for more information on their plant protection program.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect almost 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 4,379 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 440 insect pests.
Visit CBP's agriculture webpage to learn how CBP protects Americas agriculture industries.
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.