Traveler's walking stick harbors harmful pests
HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at Hobby International Airport found live wood-boring insects nesting in a traveler’s walking stick, April 12.
A female traveler, who arrived from Belize, declared a wooden walking stick when she arrived to Houston; she was then referred for a secondary agriculture exam.
During the exam, agriculture specialists noted that the walking stick she declared was an untreated tree limb with evidence of insect activity.
CBP agriculture specialists discovered two live insects that were later identified as Monochamus sp. (Cerambycidae) and Curculionidae sp.,both of which are wood-boring pests that can have a serious impact on the U.S. logging industry.
“We pride ourselves in the diligence and expertise of our agriculture specialists who work tirelessly to intercept pests and plant diseases,” said CBP Port Director Charles G. Perez. “The agriculture mission is a huge aspect of the CBP mission, and incredibly important to the American agriculture industry.”
The walking stick was seized and destroyed.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in biological sciences, risk analysis, and agriculture inspectional techniques. They are the first line of defense in the protection of U.S. agriculture, forest and livestock industries from exotic plant pests and animal diseases. Read more about CBP’s agriculture protection mission.
Travelers are encouraged to visit CBP’s Travel section to learn rules, tips and advice to help quickly complete their CBP international arrivals inspection.
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.