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Chicago CBP Examines Imported Valentine's Flowers

Release Date: 
February 10, 2011

Chicago - With Valentine's Day fast approaching, CBP agriculture specialists in Chicago are diligently working to ensure that flower imports used in Valentine's Day bouquets are free from insects and diseases that could harm the agricultural and floral industries of the U.S.

Agricultural Specialist Tzul-Abad takes a close looks at roses arriving in Chicago for Valentines Day.

Agricultural Specialist Tzul-Abad takes a close looks at roses arriving in Chicago for Valentines Day.

"CBP agriculture specialists do an outstanding job in protecting this country from pest and diseases that could cause significant impact on agriculture in the United States," said David Murphy, CBP director of field operations in Chicago. "I am proud of the CBP agriculture specialists who are working long hours to ensure the flowers you give to that special someone are pest free."

Last year in the weeks prior to Valentine's Day, Chicago CBP agriculture specialists inspected and processed over two million cut flowers. The top five types of flowers imported into Chicago are Tulips, Roses, Daffodils, Orchids, and Gerbera. The most common type of insects intercepted in these cut flower imports are Moths (Noctuidae), White Flies (Aleyrodidae), and Thrips (Thripidae). Chicago ranks within the top three locations for pest interceptions in the country.

CBP nationally processed approximately 320.8 million cut flower stems during the 2010 Valentine's season. Most of the cut flower shipments were imported from South America, primarily Colombia and Ecuador. At international ports of entry, land borders and mail facilities, CBP agriculture specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S.

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.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017