MIAMI - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists at the Miami Seaport intercepted an unusual moth identified as Palthis sp. (Noctuidae) during an intensive inspection of a container of pineapples from Costa Rica on July 22. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed last week that this marks the first interception of this pest in the state of Florida.
The Noctuidae, or owlet moths, are a family of moths that include more than 35,000 known species. Larvae in this genus are reported to feed on a range of herbs, shrubs, and trees, including crop plants such as bean and corn.
“Once again, our CBP agriculture specialists’ have achieved a great feat,” said Miami Seaport Port Director Diane Sabatino. “They search thousands of containers of many different commodities every year, to detect and prevent dangerous pests from entering the United States.”
Notification was received from USDA on August 12th that this was the first interception of this pest in Florida; having been previously intercepted in Alabama and Pennsylvania.
CBP agriculture specialists are the first line of defense in the protection of U.S. agriculture, forest, and livestock industries from destructive plant pests and animal diseases. They are highly trained and experienced in biological sciences and inspection techniques used to detect biological threats.
Each year, CBP agriculture specialists intercept tens of 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.
To see more CBP activity in Florida, visit @CBPFlorida on Twitter.
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.