TUCSON, Ariz. – On Wednesday, December 11, a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist confirmed an invasive insect, Polyamia delongi, from the Cicadellidae family, was found by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agricultural specialist at the Port of Nogales December 9.
This is the first time this species has been found in the United States. Polyamia delongi is not known to exist in the Western Hemisphere.
During the inspection, a live adult specimen was discovered and forwarded to a USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine entomologist who confirmed the finding.
CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer, and following fumigation protocol procedures, the shipment was released into U.S. commerce.
“CBP agriculture specialists are highly-trained. They do an excellent job in determining the admissibility of agriculture commodities,” said Assistant Director of Field Operations Armando Goncalvez, Tucson Field Office. “We have a great working relationship with our USDA partners, and together we protect the nation from a variety of evolving dynamic threats such as invasive pests that could harm the United States’ agriculture resources.”
CBP agriculture specialists have extensive experience in the biological sciences and agriculture inspection. More information on this career is available at: http://www.cbp.gov/border-security/protecting-agriculture.
CBP’s Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles, and goods entering the United States while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. They also carry out border-related duties, including narcotics interdiction, immigration and trade law enforcement, and protecting the nation’s food supply and agriculture industry from pests and diseases.