San Francisco, California - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists (CBPAS) in San Francisco discovered an infestation of hitchhiking pests while examining a shipment of antique terracotta roof tiles from France.
Agriculture Specialists found fresh frass, a fine powdery sawdust-type material produced by the activity of boring insects, on the wood packaging material in the shipment. Upon closer inspection the team extracted a live beetle, later identified as Arhopalus sp. (Cerambycidae), or longhorn beetle.
“Untreated or improperly treated wood used as packaging for international shipments can carry a host of damaging pests and pathogens,” said Richard F. Di Nucci, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Francisco. “Wood boring pests have the potential to cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. forestry and lumber industries.”
In addition to the beetle, CBPAS also found Psychidae (bagworm moth) larvae, and adult Xerotricha conspurcata, a species of land snails native to the Mediterranean. Both are pests that can be detrimental to U.S. agriculture.
CBP has issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer/broker, requiring the entire shipment to be re-exported.