GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — U.S. Customs agents in Michigan intercepted a potentially invasive insect last month that could have threatened several crops across the state.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday that an Egyptian locust was found while inspecting containers at a Detroit-area railyard on September 29. The container had come from Italy. The container was quarantined and fumigated before being allowed to pass through.
“The elusive Egyptian locust is considered an invasive species not known to occur in the United States, though it is commonly found in Europe,” CBP officials said in a news release. “The locust is a voracious leaf feeder and poses a threat to numerous crops found in Michigan, (including) grapevines and various vegetable plants.”
It is the third time agents at the Port of Detroit have found an Egyptian locust.
“This interception demonstrates the importance of protecting our food supply and the challenging mission of CBP agriculture specialists at our ports of entry,” Acting Port Director John Nowak stated.
In the last fiscal year, border agents found 240 different pests and quarantined more than 2,600 different materials.