PHARR, Texas – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry discovered a rare pest, a first in nation discovery, in a shipment of prickly pear pads.
On Sep. 28, CBP Agriculture specialists at the Pharr Cargo Facility conducted an inspection on a commercial shipment of Prickly Pear Pads arriving from Mexico, which resulted in the discovery of a live pest. The insect was submitted for identification to a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomology laboratory. Initial identification was later confirmed by a national specialist as Dysschema mariamne Warren (Erebidae). According to USDA entomologists, this pest has never been found at any of the nation’s ports of entry.
CBP refused entry to the shipment and returned it back to Mexico.