MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Two different types of invasive pests were intercepted Monday in produce shipments from Mexico in Port Manatee.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said agriculture specialists found a type of Scarab beetle in a shipment of malanga from Mexico. The USDA said this is the first time this beetle has been intercepted in Florida.
CPB said these beetles pose a "significant" threat to state agriculture because they feed on crops and an infestation can lead to decreases in quality and productivity.
The same day, CBP said specialists intercepted an adult Heteroptera (a type of burrowing bug) in a shipment of dasheen from Mexico. This is the second time this type of pest has been intercepted in Florida, the USDA said. These bugs feed on plant roots.
CPB said on a typical day in 2018, specialists intercepted 319 pests at U.S. ports of entry and more than 4,000 materials for quarantine, like plants, meat and soil.
“CBP agriculture specialists are ever-vigilant and work diligently every day to detect pests that could cause harm to America’s agriculture resources,” Area Port Director Radames A. Torres said in a release.“CBP agriculture specialists prevent the entry of potential pests before they have a chance to do us harm.”