PHILADELPHIA – A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed May 20 that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists discovered a new pest in the Philadelphia area when they intercepted Tibraca limbativentris (Pentatomidae), common name Rice Stalk Stink Bug, while inspecting a shipment of fresh pineapples at the Philadelphia seaport on April 21.
The Rice Stalk Stink Bug is native to South American countries and has been recently introduced into the Dominican Republic. It is a serious pest of rice, soybeans, tomatoes and wheat.
“Intercepting destructive insect pests at our nation’s borders is of paramount concern to U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Area Port Director for Philadelphia. “CBP agriculture specialists are very serious about protecting America’s agriculture industry. They remain vigilant at intercepting invasive insect and plant species at our ports of entry.”
The stink bug was discovered at the Penn Terminal in Eddystone, Pa., in a 1,600 case, 50,000 pound shipment of pineapples from the Dominican Republic that was destined for Florida.
CBP safeguarded the shipment and forwarded the specimen to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) - Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) for identification. The local entomologist identified the stink bug as Tibraca limbativentris (Pentatomidae), which was confirmed by the USDA national identifier on April 21.
The shipment of pineapples was fumigated, determined to be free of additional pests, and released.
CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA to protect our nation’s agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.
For more informaiton, please visit the USDA APHIS-PPQ web page.
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day nationally, they inspect over 1 million people as well as air and sea cargo imported to the United States and intercept 4,447 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 425 agriculture pests and diseases.
Visit CBP agriculture protection mission web page for more 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.