PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Officials say that agriculture specialists recently discovered three new pests in the Philadelphia area.
Officials say the first two were found on June 23 at the Pier 82 warehouse in the Philadelphia Seaport.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection specialists discovered Synchlora sp. (Geometridae), a type of moth, while inspecting a shipment of pineapples from Costa Rica and Rhyssomatus strangulatus (Curculionidae), a type of weevil (beetle), while inspecting a different shipment of pineapples that came from Columbia.
Authorities say the third discovery was made on July 10 at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal.
Specialists found Brachypnoea sp.(Chrysomelidae), a type of beetle, while inspecting a shipment of avocados from Peru.
“Intercepting destructive insect pests at our nation’s borders is of paramount concern to U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Area Port Director for 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.”
After finding the pests, CBP safeguarded the shipments and forwarded the specimens to be inspected and identified. A local USDA entomologist identified the moth and weevil on June 25 as first in port pests and the beetle on July 14, also as a first in port pest.
Following the identification, each shipment of produce was fumigated, determined to be free of more pests, and released.