Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - CBP Agriculture Specialists at the International Bridge discovered an unwanted alien hitching a ride in a load of firewood entering the country on Thursday, July 29. A camper headed into the U.S. for the weekend was transporting the wood.
While inspecting the firewood, agriculture specialists discovered signs of bug infestation to include exit holes and tunneling under the bark. Further inspection revealed an adult beetle within the bark. Agriculture specialists tentatively identified the beetle as a Agrilus planipennis or Emerald Ash Borer. The beetle was submitted to a USDA Identifier who confirmed that it was an Emerald Ash Borer.
This is the first confirmed interception of Emerald Ash Borer at any port of entry in the United States.
"There can be hidden threats in agriculture products that could endanger our natural resources and our economy. CBP agriculture specialists and officers in Sault Ste. Marie target detect and intercept these threats before they have a chance to do harm," said Devin Chamberlain, CBP port director. "This is a great example of our CBP agriculture specialists doing their job and doing it well."
The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic wood boring pest native to China. The pest was discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002 and has spread to surrounding states. Over 30 million ash trees have been destroyed by this infestation and losses are estimated in the tens of millions of dollars.
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.