PHARR, Texas — A discovery of a rare pest by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Pharr International Bridge was discovered in a shipment of coconuts arriving from Mexico.
On June 17 CBP agriculture specialists at the Pharr cargo facility discovered the live pest. The insect was submitted for identification to a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomology laboratory and the initial identification was later confirmed by a national specialist as Eburia nigrovittata.
“By intercepting these exotic pests, 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.”Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry
A member of the Cerambycidae family, the Eburia nigrovittata is a species of longhorn beetle, which feeds on stems, trunks, roots of herbaceous or woody plants, and can cause extensive damage to living trees or untreated lumber.
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, said the news release.