U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently discovered some of the most destructive insects in the timber industry during inspection of cargo at the Veterans International Bridge.
CBP agriculture specialists found the wood-boring bark beetles on two shipments of stainless steel sheets transported on wood packaging materials from Mexico to the U.S. Dec. 27, 2012.
The insects were taken to the USDA plant inspection station at Los Indios for identification where it was determined they are quarantine significant bark beetles of the Scolytidae family. CBP officers sent the shipment of steel back to Mexico.
"After examining the wood packaging materials even though they were stamped with IPPC markings, our CBP agriculture specialists discovered multiple pests," said Michael T. Freeman, Port Director at the Brownsville Port of Entry.
CBP agriculture specialists inspect cargo and other items brought across the bridges for harmful plant pests and diseases that could hurt the nation's agricultural industry, plants and trees.
Beetles of the Scolytidae family are said to kill or destroy billions of board feet of timber annually in the U.S.