'Rare Pest' Found In Fruit Shipment Near Texas Border

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According to agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a rare pest has been found in a shipment of fruit at the Pharr International Bridge.

KXAN reported that an inspection of the fresh fruit was conducted by cargo facility on May 2nd. A release from CBP says that the shipment of fruit arrived from Mexico.

So what was the rare pest?

A leaf beetle was found in a box of mangosteen. It was later identified by specialists as Cochabamba sp. They're typically found in South and Central America. According to USDA entomologists, they have never before been found at any of the nation's ports.

The release states that the beetle is a nuisance for many reasons. The insects can cause "agricultural and economic damage as their larvae skeletonize the leaf surface and adults eat plant and tree leaves."

Port Director Carlos Rodriquez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, said in the release, "Our agriculture specialists help protect American agriculture and contribute to the nation's economic security by denying entry to invasive species not known to exist in the U.S."
The shipment was refused entry and returned to Mexico after the leaf beetle was found.

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