CBP nabs unusual suspects at border
By Tara Nelson
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials intercepted two potentially destructive suspects last month.
Border spokesperson Mike Milne said agriculture specialists found three healthy Lepidoptera moth caterpillars inside two ocean containers arriving from New Zealand and also several wood boring beetles, or Platypodidae, in a wooden crate of garden pots from Vietnam arriving via Canada.
Arctiid moths are voracious plant feeders in countries all over the world. The fall webworm, a related species in the United States, is known to feed on more than 100 species of forest and shade trees.
Platypodidae are weevils that bore tunnels into the trunks of trees.
There are more than 1,000 species, most occurring in the tropics.
Some of those species are known to live in the United States where they can cause economic damage both to live trees and to felled logs.
Milne said exotic snails and foreign soil that can harbor animal and plant pests often find their way into the country by clinging to the outsides of ocean containers.
The containers were returned to Canada.