BROWNSVILLE, Texas – An agriculture specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Port of Brownsville intercepted a “First in Port” pest on a cargo vessel at the Brownsville Seaport.
“CBP agriculture specialists at our Port of Entry perform an extremely important job in safeguarding the agriculture of the nation by preventing the proliferation of pests not known to exist in the U.S., as demonstrated by the interception of this first-in-port pest,” said Port Director Tater Ortiz, Brownsville Port of Entry.
The interception occurred on July 21 at the Brownsville Seaport when a CBP agriculture specialist conducting an inspection on board a cargo vessel arriving from Brazil intercepted a lepidopteran egg mass and submitted it for identification. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologists subsequently identified the specimen as a viable egg mass of the moth, Euproctis sp. (Erebidae), an actionable pest. On Aug 19, identifiers with USDA Plant Inspection Station at Los Indios, Texas, confirmed the interception of Euproctis sp., as a first-time interception at the Brownsville Seaport.
According to USDA, Euproctis sp. (Erebidae) moths are found in Europe and Asia and are not known to occur in the United States. Caterpillars in the genus Euproctis are plant feeders and many are serious pests of agricultural crops and forests.
CBP officers and agriculture specialists work diligently to fulfill CBP’s agriculture mission by conducting examinations in the passenger and commercial environments to prevent harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the U.S. For more information about CBP’s agriculture mission, click on the following link.