Did a Border Agent just prevent a major agriculture economic disaster?

Rare Bug on Border

An extremely rare bug, known only to be found just three times in the United States, was intercepted by Border Patrol on the Texas-Mexico border this month. Known by scientists as a Lygaeus analis Dallis, the bug has significant economic importance due to their status as pests of cultivated plants.

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A Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialist working at the Veterans International Bridge intercepted the “First in Port” pest from the bed of a pick-up truck in Brownsville, Texas on March 7, 2017. The truck was traveling from Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas, Mexico to Atlanta, Georgia. A Border Agent referred the vehicle “to CBP secondary for agriculture inspection.”

“At CBP secondary, upon inspection of the bed of the pick-up truck, a CBP agriculture specialist intercepted a live insect found in ceramic planters,” a notice from the CBP stated. “The pest was submitted for identification to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist who identified it as Lygaeus analis Dallis, an actionable pest.”

“On March 16, identifiers with the USDA Plant Inspection Station, confirmed the interception of Lygaeus analis Dallis, as a first time interception at the Port of Brownsville.  Lygaeus analis Dallis is a pest not known to occur in the United States. This insect belongs to the Lygaeidae family, commonly known as seed bugs.”

“I commend our CBP agriculture specialists for their diligence and dedication in safeguarding the agriculture of the United States,” said Port Director Petra Horne, Brownsville Port of Entry.

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