U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that a recent two-day rail operation at the Portal, N.D., port of entry resulted in the discovery of prohibited bugs and weeds in cargo containers. During the operation agricultural specialists inspected 12 rail container shipments from various countries destined to multiple U.S. states and found nine to be infested with invasive insects or noxious weed seeds or both.
- In a container of steel wheels from China, specialists collected 13 different species of insects and two species of seeds from just one container. Two of these insects and one seed were positively identified as invasive species requiring reexport.
- Kokeshi longhorn beetles were discovered in a container of wire going to Illinois. Larvae of these beetles feed on most U.S. fruit trees and the only way to get rid of the larvae at the source is to destroy the trees they have infested.
- Ticks, aphids and noxious weed seeds were found in a shipment of nuts and bolts from Taiwan. Cogon grass is highly flammable as well as highly invasive, aphids spread plant diseases from one plant to another and ticks often carry diseases that not only could be harmful to livestock but also could impact human health.
- In a shipment of drilling machinery going to South Carolina specialists found that not only did the container contain cogon grass seeds but it also had not been cleaned out from a previous shipment of seed corn, which along with corn dust covered the floor, walls and ceiling of the container.
CBP advises that importers and travelers can check for restrictions on agricultural products by contacting a CBP agricultural specialist at (701) 825-5820 or clicking here.