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Valentine’s Day Flowers Could Contain Invasive Insects

A local TV station in Texas recently reported from a border inspection station in El Paso, where Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents are inspecting imported flowers for invasive insects.

“Like anything of agriculture, cut flowers carry diseases and insects,” said Katherine Vasquez, supervisor of agriculture inspections for Customs and Border Protection in El Paso.


During last year’s Valentine’s Day season, CBP agricultural specialists at border crossings, sea ports, and airports examined 867.2 million cut flower stems, and intercepted 1,715 pests.

“What we do is we take a random sample out of each variety of flowers, and we do our inspection in either an edit bay inside, or out on the dock,” explained Rosie Maizuss, a CPB inspector in San Diego, to a CNN reporter. “What we are looking for is any variety of pest. The ones that are reportable are the ones we already have here in the States, and the ones that are actionable are the ones that we actually don’t want in the States at all, because they are invasive, because they are a big problem for the U.S.”

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1 Comment »

  1. This is a major concern during the Mother’s Day holiday too as many of those flowers are grown in a region with a Lep of major concern. Keep your eyes peeled every one! If you find a bug in your flowers, put it in a ziplock baggie, freeze it and then contact your local Extension specialist for an ID.

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