U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Brownsville, Texas, port of entry have intercepted a shipment of solid wood packaging materials from Russia that was contaminated with live Monochamus galloprovincialis beetles. It is the first known appearance of this particular wood-boring pest in a shipment from Russia to the U.S.
Customs’ agriculture specialists discovered and collected the insects, in larva form, and transported them to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plan Inspection Station at Los Indios, Texas, for identification, where they were confirmed as quarantine-significant pests. Certain types of word-boring beetles could be devastating to U.S. trees and forests because they may not have any natural predators in the region, the agency said in a written statement.
The exotic species of beetle has only been intercepted in the U.S. six previous times; this seventh interception is the first in USDA record arriving into the Brownsville port of entry. The shipments were re-exported to Russia.
“Brownsville’s CBP agriculture specialists continue an extensive outreach program to educate, brokers, transporters, fumigators and other stakeholders involved in the importation of merchandise on solid wood packaging materials,” said Michael T. Freeman, port director at the Brownsville port of entry, in a written statement. “We work closely with our stakeholders every day to prevent these types of insects from making their way into the country.”