U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) intercepted several invasive pests on the Northern border, and have issued 193 emergency action notifications, which are issued when containers are found with prohibited pests.
CBPAS in Portal found a propagule of mission grass on wood packing material from Vietnam. This federal noxious weed is an invasive species that spreads by seed.
Also in Portal, CBPAS targeted a rail shipment. During the inspection, several wood boring beetle trails were carved into the wood on one of the pallets holding the cargo. Following the trails resulted in finding four live wood boring beetle larvae. The larva was identified as longhorn beetles. Longhorn beetles are some of the most destructive pests of wood, causing losses to the timber industry, wildlife habitat as well as urban landscapes.
During an inspection of a rail container in International Falls, Minnesota, CBPAS intercepted cast exoskeletons of larval khapra beetles.
Larvae of khapra beetle are covered in fine hair, which contaminates and spoil the products they infest, causing skin irritation and gastrointestinal distress if consumed. This tiny beetle can live in a larval state for up to seven years with minimal food and is highly resistant to insecticides. Because of this, phytosanitary action is required when it is intercepted alive, dead, or if the cast exoskeleton is found.
CBPAS in Pembina encountered citizens of Ghana returning to their residence in the United States. Various food items were declared including dried fish, papaya, spices and snacks. While inspecting their luggage, a package was identified that contained bushmeat. Bushmeat is a term given to unidentified wildlife for human consumption from Africa.
The wildlife in many cases is not preserved or prepared in a way that would kill disease and can be a source of many communicable diseases including Ebola. The bushmeat was seized and destroyed.