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CBP Intercepts Dangerous “Leafhopper” Pest on Persian Limes from Guatemala at Port Everglades

Release Date: 
October 26, 2015

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists working at Port Everglades intercepted a “Leafhopper” bug within a shipment of Persian limes from Guatemala. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that this interception was a first time finding at Port Everglades.

Unusual pest discovered at Port Everglades.

Unusual pest discovered at Port Everglades.

On Oct. 5, CBP agriculture specialists were conducting inspections of cargo containers from Guatemala at Port Everglades when they discovered a pest later identified as Gypona Sp. (Cicadellidae). This pest is commonly referred to as a “Leafhopper”. The USDA identified it as an actionable pest and the container was sealed pending quarantine action.

“Leafhopper” is a common name applied to any species from the family Cicadellidae.  These insects are plant feeders that suck plant sap from grass, shrubs, or trees. Some are pests or vectors of plant viruses and phytoplasmas.  Nymphs and adults feed on sap of above-ground stems or leaves of plants; some species are more host-specific than others.

Leafhoppers are threats to crop plants. They rob plants of vital nutrients and transmit viruses, bacteria and other infectious pathogens from plant to plant.

“CBP agriculture specialists are the first line of defense in protecting the U.S. against agricultural threats,” said Port Everglades Port Director Jorge Roig. “Our CBP agriculture specialists are highly trained and experienced in biological sciences and we are very proud of them for intercepting this dangerous pest.”

Each year, CBP agriculture specialists intercept thousands of “actionable pests” – those identified through scientific risk assessment and study as being dangerous to the health and safety of U.S. agricultural resources.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Florida includes travel and trade facilitation and securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border. Find out more and get real-time updates at @CBPFlorida on Twitter.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017