LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have their hands full investigating illegal activity along the border.
At the weekend, agents found a rare pest in a broadcast.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection say it’s been a busy summer for their agriculture division, which oversees shipments in commercial trucks.
Constantly on the lookout for pests in shipments of fruit and vegetables, as well as meat or dairy products, they recently found a rare pest.
It is so rare that it is considered one of the first to be found in the country and it could potentially harm our country’s agriculture.
This is an achievement for the Agriculture Specialists at U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“It is the first time these insects have been identified in the nation.”
When Carlos Ramos and his team of agricultural specialists were inspecting a delivery of flowers at the World Trade Bride last week, they came across a rare pest: a saliva beetle frog hopper.
“Our agricultural specialists found something that shouldn’t be there, submitted it to the USDA, and got the identification back.”
Now that the US Department of Agriculture has confirmed that this shipment from Mexico contained a pest unknown to the US, CBP now has one more item to add to its “Significant Pest Detection” list.
Ramos says it is common for officials to find insects on broadcasts, but that’s not as worrying as they have been seen before.
“Every day we find insects or pests and diseases that are not known in the USA”
But had they not found the saliva beetle frog hopper, Ramos believes that this could have created a bigger problem.
“They are not known to be found in the US, so if you leave an environment where they may not have natural enemies of their own, they may not be able to thrive and cause agricultural damage.”
The cut flower shipment in which the spit beetle frog hoppers were found was handled by the US Department of Agriculture.
Ramos says the shipment was not sent back to Mexico but was fumigated.
Although there are still travel restrictions in place, CBP continues to screen billions of dollars in imports.
The number corresponds to fiscal 2020, when CBP officials and agricultural specialists processed more than $ 180.9 billion in imports at Laredo’s ports of entry.
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