Last week an entomologist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing in Buffalo, NY have intercepted an invasive moth called Phaecasiophora fernaldana. A member of the family Tortricidae, this moth is not known to exist in the western hemisphere, and this is the first time it was reported in the U.S.
P. fernaldana poses a potential agricultural threat because it is known to feed on apples, apple buds, leaves, and shoots.
“CBP agriculture specialists in the Port of Buffalo do an excellent job of detecting invasive pests that could cause harm to the United States agriculture industry,” said Randy Howe, Director of Field Operations for the Buffalo Field Office. “We have an excellent working relationship with USDA, and this is another example of CBP and USDA working closely together to protect the nation’s agriculture resources.”
On October 6, 2014, CBP agriculture specialists at the Lewiston Bridge border crossing inspected a truck hauling an ocean container full of pump valves which had originated in China. During the inspection, a pest resembling a moth was discovered and forwarded to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, where it was identified as Phaecasiopha fernaldana.
The shipment will be re-exported back to Canada.
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