First Time Interception of Click Beetle Larvae at the Port of Honolulu
HONOLULU— U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists (CBPAS) working at Honolulu seaport discovered live wireworms while inspecting a shipment of pink taro from Fiji. The insects were found crawling on the crown of one of the tubers.
The shipment of taro, weighing close to 19,000 pounds, was immediately placed on hold until the pest could be positively identified. Some of the larvae were collected and submitted to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Inspection Station in Honolulu.
USDA confirmed that the specimen was the larvae of Agriotes sp. (Elateridae), commonly known as the click beetle. The beetle larvae, called “wireworms”, feed on seeds, seedlings, and the underground portions of a wide variety of agriculture products. They can be particularly harmful to edible root plants, such as taro.
“The interception of these potentially harmful insects is just one example of the work our CBP agriculture specialists do every day,” said Bruce Murley, CBP’s Honolulu Port Director.
Due to the potentially destructive nature of the pest, CBP refused entry of the shipment and ordered it to be re-exported.
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.