PROGRESO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the Progreso-Donna Port of Entry recently intercepted a rare pest only discovered for the third time in the U.S. in a shipment of cucumbers.
“Our CBP agriculture specialists applied their attention to detail and intercepted a rare pest in a produce shipment,” said Carlos Rodriguez, port director, Progreso-Donna. “Our agency’s ongoing agricultural inspection work helps to foster America’s economic security by helping protect American agriculture from adverse impact by invasive species not known to exist in the U.S.”
The interception occurred on Nov. 20, at the import lot at Progreso International Bridge. CBP agriculture specialists conducted an examination of a commercial shipment of cucumbers. During an examination of the trailer floor, a CBP agriculture specialist discovered a live insect. The pest was submitted for identification by a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist. The initial identification was later confirmed by a national specialist that the insect was Tominotus hogenhoferi (Signoret) (Cydnidae), a quarantine significant pest which had only been intercepted twice before in the U.S., in Florida. CBP refused entry for the shipment and it was returned to Mexico.
Tominotus hogenhoferi belongs to the Cydnidae family, known as shield bugs or burrowing bugs which are known to feed on plant roots and are distinguished by piercing, sucking mouthparts. The insect was identified as a quarantine significant pest requiring action by CBP, in this case re-exportation to Mexico.
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.