Customs officials in South Texas intercepted a rare pest in a recent shipment of fruits and vegetables from Mexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday.
CBP agriculture specialists at the Pharr International Bridge discovered the insect July 7 inside a shipment of jackfruit, the agency said in a news release.
After close investigation, the agriculture specialist submitted the bug for identification to the U. S. Department of Agriculture entomology, it was determined that the pest was the Cyclocephala forcipulata or Scarabaeidae insect.
CBP said the insect has never been found at any other of the nation’s borders or ports.
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“Our 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.” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.
Also known as the Scarab, the insect is a type of beetle that can be found in Mexico. The pest’s larvae will eat the roots of plants and adults feed on their aerial parts of plants.
Since the bug isn’t common in the U.S it can be detrimental to U.S. agriculture, CBP said.
Border agents refused entry to the shipment and returned it back to Mexico.