Oakland, Calif. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists discovered signs of a potentially destructive pest while inspecting a shipment of travertine pavers at the Oakland seaport last Thursday. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) personnel identified the samples, live larvae, as a species of Cerambycidae, also known as Long Horned Beetle. According to the USDA the beetles are potential invasive pests, and can cause millions of dollars in damage to agriculture and the economy by boring into trees and shrubs.
The pest was found during a physical inspection of the shipment. After the agriculture specialist noticed signs of the larva near the wood packing materials containing the shipment, he used a chisel to dig out the pest-which had bored its way deep into the wood. Interestingly, the wood crating had stamps certifying that it had been treated in a fashion that was supposed to have eliminated this type of pest.
"CBP agriculture specialists again demonstrate their important role in protecting America's vital agricultural economic interests" said San Francisco Director of Field Operations Richard Vigna. "The diligent effort required in spotting this pest is underscored by the fact that the specimens were found even though the shipment had supposedly been treated to eliminate this pest" continued Vigna.
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.