Buffalo, N.Y. – On Wednesday October 8, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing intercepted an invasive insect, Phaecasiophora fernaldana Walsingham, a moth from the Tortricidae family. This is a first in nation pest discovery and is not known to exist in the Western Hemisphere.
This moth poses a potential significant threat to the agriculture industry because it is known to feed on apples, apple buds, leaves and shoots.
“CBP agriculture specialists in the Port of Buffalo do an excellent job of detecting invasive pests that could cause harm to the United States agriculture industry,” said Randy Howe, Director of Field Operations for the Buffalo Field Office. “We have an excellent working relationship with USDA and this is another example of CBP and USDA working closely together to protect the nation’s agriculture resources.”
On October 6, CBP agriculture specialists at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing inspected a truck hauling an ocean container full of pump valves which originated in China. During the inspection, a pest resembling a moth was discovered and forwarded to a USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) entomologist and identified as Phaecasiopha fernaldana Walsingham, a moth from the Tortricidae family.
CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer and following CBP procedures, the shipment will be re-exported to Canada.
CBP Agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agriculture inspection. Please visit http://www.cbp.gov/border-security/protecting-agriculture for more information about CBP’s mission to protect the nation’s agriculture industry.
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.