PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection discovered a rare pest at the Pharr International Bridge.
On May 2, specialists at the cargo facility conducted an inspection of fresh fruit that arrived from Mexico, according to a release from CBP.
The specialists found a leaf beetle later identified as Cochabamba sp. in a box of mangosteen.
According to the release, the beetle can cause “agricultural and economic damage as their larvae skeletonize the leaf surface and adults eat plant and tree leaves.”
The beetle is typically found in South and Central America, and has never been found at any of the nation’s ports according to USDA entomologists.
“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.,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry in the release.
After the discovery, the shipment was refused entry and returned to Mexico.