PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection termite interception in Philadelphia was the first ever recorded interception of the species in our area.

CBP specialists found 20 lives specimens, which are suspected to belong to the infraorder Isoptera, on February 10th inside wood packaging material that being used to secure of a shipment of pineapples from the Dominican Republic.

The CBP says a local USDA entomologist identified the specimens as Cryptotermes, which are described as a species from the drywood termite family that occurs in the West Indies.

The entomologist also reported the interception as a first-in-port discovery. That claim was confirmed by the national pest interception database.

The CBP says these types of termites caused about 1.5 billion in damage to wood structures in southeastern United States.

“Intercepting these destructive insect pests at our nation’s borders is of paramount concern to U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” says Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.

“CBP agriculture specialists are very serious about protecting America’s agriculture industry. They remain vigilant at intercepting invasive insect and plant species at our ports of entry.”

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