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Baltimore CBP Intercepts First in Port Tumbling Flower Beetle

Release Date: 
May 24, 2012

Baltimore - A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed Monday that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists discovered a new insect pest in the Baltimore area when they intercepted a Tumbling Flower Beetle, family Mordellidae while inspecting containers of stainless steel coils from China at the seaport on May 3.

Tumbling Flower Beetles may pose a significant agriculture threat because they attack and bore into the stems and flowering parts of plants, and eventually kill them. The beetles are known for the irregular movements they make when escaping predators. The movements are a series of very rapid separate jumps that resemble tumbling.


The Tumbling Flower Beetle found by CBP agriculture specialist at the Baltimore Seaport on May 3.

The Tumbling Flower Beetle found by CBP agriculture specialist at the Baltimore Seaport on May 3.

CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer requiring the shipment to be re-exported or fumigated. The importer chose the fumigation option. Upon successful treatment by USDA, the shipment will be released to its destination in Gurnee, Illinois.

"CBP agriculture specialists take their job of detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests very seriously," said Frances B. Garcia, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. "This is the fourth First in Port discovery in Baltimore in less than a month and another example of why CBP stands ever vigilant against agriculture threats."

CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) to protect our nation's agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017