BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Veterans International Bridge import cargo lot intercepted a “First in Port” pest in a shipment of fresh corn.
“The interception of this miniscule, yet destructive pest, for the first time at the Port of Brownsville, is an outstanding example of the diligence and dedication of our CBP agriculture specialists in safeguarding the agriculture of the United States,” said Port Director Petra Horne, Brownsville Port of Entry.
The interception occurred on July 27, at the Veterans International Bridge import lot when a shipment of fresh corn was referred to agriculture for inspection. Upon inspection of the corn, CBP agriculture specialists intercepted a pest. The pest was submitted for identification to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist who identified it as Oncometopia clarior (Walker) (Cicadellidae) an actionable pest. On July 28, 2016, identifiers with U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection Station, confirmed the interception of Oncometopia clarior (Walker) (Cicadellidae), as a first time interception at the Port of Brownsville.
Oncometopia clarior (Walker) is a pest not known to occur in the United States. This insect belongs to the Cicadellidae family, commonly known as leafhoppers. Many leafhoppers are serious pests of cultivated plants, and a few act as vectors of plant diseases.
Given the quarantine status of Oncometopia clarior (Walker), the shipment of corn was re-exported to Mexico as a precautionary measure.
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.