Pembina, N.D. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to remind the traveling public that they should leave fruits, plants and firewood at home when traveling to the United States.
There are many types of fresh fruit, vegetables and live plants that may enter Canada from tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Oranges are one example. These fruits, however, are not allowed into the United States because they can harbor plant pests and diseases that could severely impact U. S. agriculture.
A CBP agriculture specialist recently intercepted citrus fruit that was infested with arrowhead scales. The CBP agriculture specialist discovered the scale insects on fruit that he seized from travelers arriving in a private vehicle from Canada at the Grand Portage, Minnesota port of entry.
Scale insects are plant parasites that suck the sap from their host plant. They attach themselves to the host by secreting a stationary waxy cover or "scale" over their bodies. The protective scale allows them to feed unimpeded on their host, sucking its juices with their straw-like mouthparts. Arrowhead scale has the potential to cause severe damage to U.S. citrus crops. An infestation could cause tree dieback and reduced fruit yields. Eradication and quarantine efforts can be extremely costly and have a significant economic impact.
Travelers should not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy, poultry products, or firewood into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted. They should also declare to CBP all agriculture products they may be carrying to avoid fines and delays. Travelers can check for restrictions on agricultural products on the "Know Before You Go" section of the CBP website or by contacting a Pembina CBP agriculture specialist at (701) 825-6551 extension 324.
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.