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Texas CBP Agriculture Specialist Intercept Rare Bug

a First in the Nation Discovery

 
 
Release Date: 
August 3, 2021

PHARR, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Pharr International Bridge discovered a rare pest, a first in nation discovery, in a shipment of fresh vegetables. 

“Our agriculture specialists help protect American agriculture and contribute to the nation’s economic security by denying entry to invasive species not known to exist in the U.S.” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. 

A specimen of Cyclocephala forcipulata, a first in nation pest interception made by CBP agriculture specialists at Pharr International Bridge.
A specimen of Cyclocephala forcipulata, a first in nation
pest interception made by CBP agriculture
specialists at Pharr International Bridge within boxes
of jackfruit.

On July 7, 2021, CBP agriculture specialists at the Pharr cargo facility conducted an inspection on a commercial shipment of fresh vegetables arriving from Mexico, which resulted in the discovery of a live pest within boxes of jackfruit. The insect was submitted for identification to a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomology laboratory and the initial identification was later confirmed as Cyclocephala forcipulata. The Cyclocephala forcipulata (Scarabaeidae) is a species that belongs to the scarab beetle family that is found in Mexico. Scarab pests can cause agricultural and economic damage as their larvae eat plant roots and adults feed on their aerial parts of plants. The shipment was refused entry and returned to Mexico.

According to USDA entomologists, this pest has never been found at any of the nation’s ports of entry. CBP refused entry to the shipment and returned it back to Mexico. 

The interception is an example of the diligent work CBP agriculture specialists do on a daily basis to fulfill CBP’s agriculture mission, which is crucial in preventing foreign pests from establishing in the United States.  Pests that are not known to occur in the U.S. may be detrimental to the nation’s agriculture industry. 

For more information about CBP, please click on the attached link.

Follow the Director of CBP’s Laredo Field Office on Twitter at @DFOLaredo and on Instagram at @dfolaredo and also U.S. Customs and Border Protection at @CBPSouthTexas for breaking news, current events, human interest stories and photos.

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