PHARR, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry discovered a rare beetle, a first in nation discovery, in a shipment of Persian limes.
“I want to congratulate our agriculture specialists for their diligence and attention to detail that resulted in the interception of a rare, first in nation pest,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Their outstanding 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.”
On July 9, agriculture specialists at the Pharr import lot conducted an inspection on a commercial shipment of Persian limes. During the inspection of the shipment, agriculture specialists discovered a live pest. The insect was submitted for identification by a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist. The initial identification was later confirmed by a national specialist as Chrysobothris capitata (Buprestidae). The interception is the first of its kind in the nation according to USDA’s Pest ID Database. According to USDA entomologists, this pest has never been found at any of the nation’s ports of entry. CBP refused entry to the shipment and the limes were returned to Mexico.
The interception is an example of the diligent work CBP agriculture specialists do on a daily basis, which is crucial in preventing foreign pests from becoming established in the U.S. Pests that are not known to occur in the U.S. may be detrimental to the nation’s agriculture industry. CBP agriculture specialists continue to fulfill CBP’s agriculture mission by preventing harmful pests and diseases from becoming established in the U.S.
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.