PHARR, Texas –Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry have intercepted a rare, first in the nation pest within a commercial shipment of fresh limes.
“The tenacious and extraordinary efforts of our agriculture specialists in discovering and intercepting these tiny insects is truly remarkable and commendable,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/ Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “In the agricultural world, a first in the nation pest discovery is immensely significant and CBP’s steadfast enforcement of agricultural law is paramount in helping to protect the American agriculture industry from possible devastating effects.”
On April 30 a CBP officer referred a shipment of fresh limes that arrived at the Pharr- Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility for a secondary agriculture inspection. During the inspection of the product and the container, a CBP agriculture specialist observed a live insect on the floor of the commercial trailer. Upon closer examination of the specimen by U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologists, the insect was positively identified as Anatinomma alveolatum Bates (Cerambycidae). The insect was positively identified as being a unique interception within the United States, a first-in-the-nation detection. The shipment of fresh limes was refused entry and returned to Mexico.
Insects within the Cerambycidae family are commonly known as the long-horned beetles, and are generally wood boring pests that may cause extensive damage to either living trees or untreated lumber. Certain types of wood-boring beetles could be devastating to trees and forests because they have no natural predators in the United States.
CBP agriculture specialists safeguard American agriculture by detecting and preventing entry into the country of plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm agricultural resources. For more information on the CBP Agriculture Inspection Process, visit CBP.gov.