BALTIMORE – A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed Wednesday that U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists at the Port of Baltimore seaport made a first in nation pest discovery when they intercepted an insect, Sciocoris sideritidis, a type of stinkbug, while inspecting a shipment of ceramic tile from Italy on April 8.
Stinkbugs could pose a significant agriculture threat because they suck the juices out of plants, fruits, and seeds reducing a farmer’s yield. Some stinkbugs feed on crops such as soybeans, rice, tomatoes, and cabbage.
"CBP agriculture specialists take their job of detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests very seriously," said Ricardo Scheller, CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. "This is another example of our agriculture specialists performing a thorough inspection and finding a new potential threat to the U.S. agriculture industry."
The stinkbugs were discovered in a shipment of ceramic tile from Italy. CBP forwarded specimens of the insect to a USDA- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) - Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) entomologist for identification.
CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer requiring the shipment to be re-exported or fumigated. The importer has chosen the fumigation option.
CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA’s, APHIS, PPQ to protect our nation’s agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases.