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CBP intercepts harmful pests from entering U.S. borders

Staff Writer |
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists intercepted viable eggs within Asian Gypsy Moth egg masses aboard a vessel, Aug. 24.

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Throughout U.S. ports of entry each day, CBP agriculture specialists board international arriving vessels to conduct inspections.

During one vessel boarding at the Houston Seaport, CBP agriculture specialists found egg masses suspected to be of Asian Gypsy Moth derivation.

“This type of interception is significant, as the introduction of this pest into our agriculture system could cause immeasurable damage,” said Houston Area Port Director Roderick W. Hudson.

“CBP agriculture specialists perform work that is critical to protecting the U.S. agriculture industry by preventing the introduction of harmful pests into the country.”

The Asian Gypsy Moth is a pest that feeds on trees and plants. These pests have the potential to cause widespread damage to our country’s landscape and natural resources.

Each female could lay hundreds of eggs resulting in caterpillars with insatiable appetites. At this stage in their development, these future moths may feed on hundreds of tree and shrub species, causing devastation to America’s agriculture production and forest resources.

The egg masses were found aboard a vessel, arriving from Japan, on the starboard side of the gangway and on the super structure in a switch box.

CBP agriculture specialists submitted a sample specimen of the egg masses to the local U.S. Department of Agriculture for identification. The USDA identified the egg masses as Lymantria dispar asiatica, (Erebidae), which is the scientific name for Asian Gypsy Moth.

All egg masses were removed and the affected areas were treated to exterminate any remaining eggs.


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