Pest Responsible for Destructive Citrus Disease Found in Luggage at DFW Airport

Officials at DFW International Airport seized fresh curry leaves that were carrying a pest known to have caused billions of dollars worth of lost revenue to the U.S. citrus industry. The passenger traveling from Vietnam to DFW on July 19 and declared fish in her luggage, but Gadget, a dog trained to sniff out agriculture items that may have unwanted pests, smelled something more, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. The passenger was carrying 5.5 ounces of fresh curry leaves, a restricted item because of its tendency to harbor pests. Hiding in the leaves was the Asian citrus psyllid insect. The passenger was given a penalty and the items destroyed.The pest originated in Asia and was first detected in Florida in 1998 and spreads one of the most serious citrus diseases, Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening. The disease is responsible for billions of dollars in lost revenue for the U.S. citrus industry, officials said. Once a tree is infected it can't be cured and the taste is sullied. The fruit also turns green and misshapen, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   Continue reading...

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