A CBP agriculture specialist examines fresh produce at Pharr International Bridge. ( Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection )

Last week U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at a Texas port of entry discovered a rare pest never before seen in the U.S. in a shipment of Persian limes.

“I want to congratulate our agriculture specialists for their continued dedication and their attention to detail which resulted in the interception of a rare, first in nation pest,” Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry port director Carlos Rodriguez said in a news release. “Their outstanding work helps to foster America’s economic security by helping protect American agriculture from adverse impact by invasive species not known to exist in the U.S.”

The CBP agriculture specialists were inspecting a commercial shipment of Persian limes on May 29 at the Pharr import lot when they discovered a live pest.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist initially identified the pest as Eburodacrys coalescens Bates, 1884 (Cerambycidae), which was confirmed by a national specialist, according to the release.

The lime shipment was refused entry and sent back to Mexico.

 
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