Foreign Beetle discovered in shipping crate

PORT OF BALTIMORE - Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents discovered a Brown Fir Longhorned Beetle in Baltimore.

The highly invasive wood-boring relative to the Asian Longhorned Beetle arrived inside a container of crafts from China on March 4th.

A CBP officer discovered the insect during a comprehensive examination of the container's contents on March 17.

A local USDA entomologist confirmed the insect to be a Callidiellum villosulum, and that it was the first one encountered at the Port of Baltimore.

“Wood-boring insects pose a serious threat to our nation’s forests and to our timber industries, particularly during their voracious larval period. Intercepting these invasive insect pests at our ports of entry is a Customs and Border Protection agriculture priority,” said CBP Baltimore Port Director Ricardo Scheller. “CBP agriculture specialists remain determined to work with our trade partners and to take appropriate measures to mitigate any potential reoccurrence.”

The Beetle hails from East Asia and poses a threat to some species of trees and plants. Discoveries of Brown Longhorned Beetles forced the USDA to suspend certain wooden craft imports from China in 2005.

The wood crating that the insect was found in was made of non-compliant wood packing material. All wood packing material must meet strict International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) import requirements and be free of timber pests before entering or transiting through the United States. Wood packing material is to be either heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide.

Compliant wood material must also be marked with an IPPC logo.

“CBP agriculture specialists take very serious our mission of protecting American agriculture and each pest interception emphasizes the importance of our efforts,” said Scheller.

CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargoes nationally being imported to the United States and seize 4,291 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 454 insect pests.

To learn more about CBP agriculture specialists, click here .

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