FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists working at Port Everglades discovered a strange pest on ginger arriving in a shipment from Lima, Peru on July 1.
Upon completing a visual and physical examination of the cargo, the container was sealed pending quarantine action. Agriculture specialists submitted the pest to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Systematic Entomology Laboratory and identified as Oliarus sp. (Cixiidae), an actionable pest confirmed to be a “first-in-port” pest at Port Everglades.
Cixiid species are comparatively small and inconspicuous. Nymphs live underground, feeding on roots. Adults feed on herbs, shrubs and/or trees. Some are polyphagous, while others are specialized on their host plants (monophagous) and feed on the juices of a variety of plants.
“Our CBP agriculture specialists are very skillful in identifying actionable pests and determining all potential threats to agriculture in the United States,” said Port Everglades Port Director Jorge Roig. “We are proud of their hard work every day on the job.”
Each day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) helps to prevent the intentional and unintentional introduction of potentially harmful plant pests and foreign animal diseases from entering the United States at more than 300 ports of entry.
Millions of pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, herbs, and other items enter the United States via commercial shipments from other countries every year. In Fiscal Year 2014, there were 66,857 reportable pest interceptions. View CBP’s Agriculture Fact Sheet.
To see more CBP activity in Florida, visit @CBPFlorida on Twitter.
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.