BALTIMORE – A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed April 9 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 Gymnetron rostellum Herbst, a type of weevil, while inspecting a container of ceramic tiles from Italy on April 1.
Weevils can pose a significant agriculture threat as some are known to attack stored grains thereby reducing the quality and yield of the grains.
“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.”
The weevil was discovered at the Baltimore Seaport inside a container of ceramic tiles from Italy destined for Maryland. 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 weevil as Gymnetron rostellum Herbst, which was confirmed by the USDA national identifier on April 9. The shipment of tile was fumigated, determined to be free of additional pests, and released.
CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA to protect our nation’s agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.
For more on the USDA animal and plant health mission, please visit APHIS PPQ.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect over 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 4,447 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 425 agriculture pests and diseases.
Visit CBP agriculture to learn more about CBP's agriculture protection mission.
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.