LAREDO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the Laredo port of entry recently intercepted a first in the nation pest not previously encountered and intercepted by CBP.
The interception occurred on Feb. 12, at the import lot at World Trade Bridge. CBP agriculture specialists conducted an examination of a commercial shipment of celery and romaine lettuce. During examination of the celery stalks, a CBP agriculture specialist discovered a live insect. The pest was submitted for identification and it was later confirmed by a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist who is a national identifier that the insect was Pronotacantha armata, a quarantine significant pest which had not previously been intercepted in the U.S. The shipment was sent for fumigation by USDA.
1Pronotacantha armata, which measures about seven to eight millimeters in size, belongs to a family that contains insects that are predatory as well as those that are phytophagous or plant-eating. Plant-eating pests pose a significant threat to American agriculture.
"Our frontline CBP agriculture specialists did a fantastic job in intercepting a pest that is a first in the nation discovery," said Sidney Aki, Port Director, Laredo. "Protecting our agriculture industry through the interception of foreign plant pests and animal diseases is all in a day's work for our CBP agriculture specialists."
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.