SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agriculture specialist found an unwanted pest inside the passenger cabin of an aircraft arriving from Senegal to the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service formally identified the insect by its scientific name Ammocleonus sp., which is commonly known as true weevils or snout beetles. This incident is a first-time national interception of this species.
“Our officers and agriculture specialists help protect American agriculture and contribute to the nation’s economic security by denying entry to invasive species not known to exist in the U.S,” stated Gregory Alvarez, Director of CBP Field Operations in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. “What appears to be a harmless insect can cause significant harm to our economic vitality.”
CBP Agriculture Specialists are the front line in the fight against the introduction of harmful insects and diseases into the U.S. They safeguard American agriculture by stopping plant pests and exotic foreign animal diseases that could harm vital agriculture resources at our nation’s borders.
CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.
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