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A New Pest is Found by CBP Puerto Rico Within Suspected Archeological Artifacts

Release Date: 
October 3, 2012

San Juan, Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists made two distinct interceptions this week of actionable pests within commercial shipments arriving at the two principal airports in the island.

Classified as Himatium sp. (Curculionidae sp.), this new

Classified as Himatium sp. (Curculionidae sp.), this new "first in the nation" pest is thought to be similar to snout beetles or weevils.

Insects are determined to be actionable pests because they are not widespread (and/or established) in the United States or its territories, making them potentially damaging to a wide variety of crops and natural resources.

During the inspection of a shipment that was declared as art/hand-crafts, reportedly made of natural materials from the Ivory Coast, CBP agriculture specialists at the San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport intercepted a pest that was identified as a "first in the nation" interception by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The pest was considered a "first in the nation" because it had not been identified before.

Classified as Himatium sp. (Curculionidae sp.), this new pest is thought to be similar to snout beetles or weevils. This insect was found during inspection of possible archaeological artifacts. The shipment was safeguarded pending determination/confirmation of the possible archaeological artifacts by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and treatment by the USDA.

In a shipment of imported fresh flowers from Colombia arriving at the Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla, CBP agriculture specialists intercepted an insect identified as Mythimna sequax Franclemont (A/R), commonly known as Wheat Armyworm Moth.

This is the first time this particular moth is identified at the Aguadilla Port. An Emergency Action Notification (EAN) was issued and the shipment was safeguarded and transferred to USDA for treatment.

The Mythimna sequax Franclemont (A/R), commonly known as the Wheat Armyworm Moth. This is the first time this particular moth is identified at the Aguadilla Port.

The Mythimna sequax Franclemont (A/R), commonly known as the Wheat Armyworm Moth. This is the first time this particular moth is identified at the Aguadilla Port.

"These two interceptions are an example of the careful diligence our agriculture specialists exhibit as they examine imported shipments for harmful pests and diseases," said Mirella Couto, San Juan Assistant Director Field Operations for Trade.

CBP agriculture specialists are determined to safeguard American agriculture by demonstrating careful diligence as they examine imported shipments detecting and preventing entry into the country of exotic plant pests and foreign animal diseases that could harm our agricultural resources. They do this with inspection and prevention efforts designed to keep prohibited agricultural items from entering the United States. These items (pests and/or diseases), whether in commercial cargo or as "hitchhikers" with an international airline/vessel, passenger or a pedestrian crossing the border, could cause serious damage to America's crops, livestock, and the environment.

For more detailed information on these and other pests, the public can consult the USDA/APHIS website.(Plant Pest Program Information)

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