Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Port Everglades discovered three unwanted aliens hitching a ride in three separate shipments at Port Everglades.
While conducting an inspection of a container on Dec.29, agriculture specialists found an adult beetle on a shipment of railroad ties from Argentina. The adult insect was later identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist as Juiaparus batus Linnaeus (Cerambycidae). The USDA, after a search of their database confirmed that it is the first time this particular species has been intercepted in the nation.
The following is a picture of the beetle: (Cerambycidae)
On Jan.10, while conducting a routine inspection on a container of fresh okra, CBP Agriculture Specialists intercepted an adult Lepidoptera. The interception was forwarded to the USDA Miami Plant Inspection Station and identified as Exoncotis umbraticella Busck (Family of Acrolophidae) by the local USDA Entomology Specialist. Acrolophidae (Burrowing webworm moths) is a family of moths in the Lepidoptera order. Several species of sod webworms or "lawn moths" commonly infest home lawns. According to the USDA Pest ID, this is a first time in the nation finding for Exoncotis umbraticella Busck.
Picture of moth: (BugGuide)
On Jan.12, CBP Agriculture Specialists were inspecting a container of railroad ties from Argentina. The railroad ties displayed evidence of heavy insect infestation. An adult Cerambycidae was intercepted and forwarded to the National Identification Service and identified as Drychateres bilineatus Olivier. According to the USDA Pest ID Database, this is the first time Drychateres bilineatus Olivier has been intercepted in the United States.
CBP agriculture specialists issued Emergency Action Notifications on all three interceptions requiring the importers to fumigate the containers and their contents.
"Our agriculture specialists ensure that invasive species that could cause irreparable harm to this country's diverse agricultural and natural resources do not have the opportunity to enter and become established," stated Greg McCann, acting director of field operations for CBP in Miami. "These dedicated, highly trained and experienced officers and agriculture specialists are a critical part of CBP's layer approach to protecting our homeland, from apprehending criminals to interdicting drugs and pests," he added.
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.