Laredo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Laredo port of entry uncovered a deluge of quarantine significant pests, intercepting nine wood-boring pests within a nine hour period at the port's two cargo lots on February 22.
"Our frontline CBP agriculture specialists did some amazing work this week, detecting nine actionable pests in a nine-hour period," said Sidney Aki, Port Director, Laredo. "Our agricultural mission is vitally important to protecting American agriculture from wood boring pests not known to reside within the U.S. An infestation by these pests would be costly to contain and could result in severe economic losses for the American timber industry as well as our forests."
During a nine-hour period on February 22, CBP agriculture specialists conducted examinations of wooden pallets from commercial shipments that ranged from auto parts to hexagonal netting to telephone cable at the World Trade Bridge and Colombia-Solidarity Bridge import lots.
During their examinations, CBP agriculture specialists probed the pallets and discovered a total of nine quarantine significant pests, including five Cerambycidae spp., two Arhopalus spp., one Scolytidae sp. and one Pityopththorus sp. Four of the pests were intercepted at Colombia-Solidarity Bridge and five at World Trade Bridge import lot. Some of these pests have been known to cause extensive damage to trees and at times carry diseases that have adverse impact on the trees. In each case, CBP refused entry to the shipments which were returned to Mexico.
Solid wood packing material such as pallets bear an International Plant Protection Convention stamp indicating that they have either been treated with heat or with chemicals to prevent infestation by wood-boring pests. If CBP finds quarantine significant pests within these pallets, action must be taken; the wood packing material must be re-exported to the country of origin.
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.