BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Brownsville port of entry have intercepted a significant pest found within solid wood packaging materials in a shipment from Russia.
The first-in-port interception marks the first known appearance of this particular pest in a shipment from Russia to the United States.
On May 29, CBP agriculture specialists' examinations of a commercial shipment at the Brownsville Seaport resulted in the discovery of live wood-boring insects. The insects were collected from wooden pallets containing merchandise being imported into the United States from Russia. The collected insects, in larva form, and a first of a kind adult Monochamus galloprovincialis (Olivier) were transported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Inspection Station at Los Indios, Texas for identification where the specimens were confirmed as quarantine-significant pests. The exotic species of beetle, Monochamus galloprovincialis (Olivier) has only been intercepted in the United States six previous times. This seventh interception is the first in USDA record arriving into the Brownsville port of entry. As a result of these findings, the shipment was re-exported to Russia.
"Brownsville's CBP agriculture specialists continue an extensive outreach program to educate, brokers, transporters, fumigators and other stakeholders involved in the importation of merchandise on solid wood packaging materials," said Michael T. Freeman, port director at the Brownsville port of entry. Freeman went on to say, "We work closely with our stakeholders every day to prevent these types of insects from making their way into the country. I applaud our agriculture team for their outstanding commitment in keeping pests and diseases from entering our country and potentially costing our nation millions of dollars to eradicate."
CBP agriculture specialists working at U.S. ports of entry ensure that cargo and conveyances are not infested with harmful plant pests and diseases that could harm the agricultural crops and natural resources in the United States. Certain types of word-boring beetles could be devastating to our trees and forests since they may have no natural predators in this region. Infestation could spread at an alarming rate and conceivably cost millions of dollars and man hours to eradicate.
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.