MIAMI - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Miami’s seaport intercepted an unusual pest identified as Hesus flaviventris Burmeister during an inspection of a container of pineapples from Costa Rica. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that this marks the first interception of this pest in the United States.
Hesus flaviventris Burmeister is a member of the family Aradidae, also known as flat bugs because of their extremely flattened bodies. Flat bugs are distant relatives of the more familiar stink bugs.
“CBP agriculture specialists are our first line of defense in the protection of U.S. agriculture, forest, and livestock industries from destructive plant pests and animal diseases,” said Acting Miami Seaport Director Kenneth Haefner. “Our
dedicated agriculture specialists in South Florida have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and risk analysis.”
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.
On a typical day in Fiscal Year 2014, CBP agriculture specialists intercepted 425 pests, 4,447 plant pests, and a significant quantity of quarantine material products including fruits and vegetables, plant materials, meat products, meat by–products and soil.
To find out more about CBP operations 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.