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Wilmington, Delaware CBP Reports First Local Interception of Moth Species

Release Date: 
May 22, 2020

WILMINGTON, Delaware – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed today that a moth that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists discovered May 7 was the first ever local discovery of this moth species.

CBP agriculture specialists discovered a Hylesia species of moth never before seen in Wilmington, Del. May 7, 2020.
First-in-Port species of Hylesia moth.

CBP agriculture specialists discovered the live adult moth while inspecting bananas from Honduras. Agriculture specialists submitted images of the specimen to the USDA entomologist who determined the pest to be Hylesia sp. (Saturniidae), an invasive pest of the giant silkworm moth family generally known to occur in South America.

Hylesia sp. (Saturniidae) is a forestry pest. In their larvae and caterpillar stages, they are voracious consumers of tree, shrub and crop plant leaves.

CBP discovered no other invasive pests and released the shipment of bananas for transport to Broward County, Fla.

“Customs and Border Protection’s agriculture protection mission is vital to our nation’s economic health, and this first-in-port discovery is evidence of our agriculture specialists’ tireless efforts to intercept potential dangerous invasive pests,” said Ronald Krempa, CBP Port Director for the port of Wilmington. “CBP remains steadfastly committed to ensuring our agriculture industries remain vibrant by intercepting invasive insects, noxious weeds, and animal diseases when we encounter them at our nation’s international ports of entry.”

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 land, air and sea cargo imported to the United States, and intercept 314 agriculture pests and 4,695 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products. Learn more about what CBP acheived during "A Typical Day" in 2019.

CBP's agriculture protection mission is led at ports of entry by CBP agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Baltimore Field Office on Twitter at @DFOBaltimore and on Instagram at @dfobaltimore for breaking news, current events, human-interest stories and photos.

Last modified: 
May 22, 2020