These pest were found in garlic and cut flower shipments from Spain and Colombia respectively
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Paul and Ringo are the only Beatles to ever perform individually in Puerto Rico.
Although recently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) San Juan Field Operations Agricultural Specialists intercepted two distinct species of beetles in two separate air and sea cargo shipments; one discovered for the first time in the area port of San Juan, and the other discovered for the first time Nationwide.
“Detection of actionable pests is critical in order to protect agriculture within this region,” stated Marcelino Borges, Director of Field Operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
CBP Agriculture Specialists intercepted a Microrchinus sp. (Curculionidae), commonly known as true weevils or snout beetles, within cut Gerbera flowers, imported via air cargo from Colombia. Gerbera is also commonly known as the African Daisy.
Suspected as a pest, CBP sent the insect to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Systematic Entomology Laboratory, that later confirmed this to be a First Time Nationwide interception.
At the San Juan Seaport, CBP Agriculture Specialists intercepted one live insect identified as Gonocephalum sp., a species of Darkling Beetle, within a garlic shipment from Spain.
The insect was sent to USDA’s Plan Protection and Quarantine Office, which indicated that it was considered a First Time interception for Puerto Rico and San Juan.
The snout beetles are the third-largest animal family, with over 40,000 species described worldwide. The darkling beetle is the common name of the large family, estimated at more than 20,000. Human transport has spread several individual species inadvertently so that each of them has become cosmopolitan.
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.
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.