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CBP Specialists Intercept Rare Pest

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations. This is understandable when you consider CBP’s wide ranging mission that includes things like counter terrorism, combatting transnational crime, securing our borders, facilitating lawful trade, and of course, collecting duty and taxes.

Revenue aside, you could make the case that CBP’s main goal is protection. CBP protects our borders, our ports, consumers, the market, intellectual property and certainly the environment.

One of CBP’s responsibilities is to prevent potentially harmful or dangerous plant and animal material from entering the U.S. including invasive plants, insect pests, plant pathogens or prohibited animal products that could be carrying disease.

CBP prevents the entry of these by:

  • Checking containers and trucks for smuggle agricultural products or packaging that might contain invasive species
  • Examining wooden pallets that could hide the larvae of wood-boring insects
  • Ensuring imported fruits and vegetables are pest free

On May 2, 2022, CBP agriculture specialists at the Pharr cargo facility discovered, upon inspection, a shipment of fresh fruit arriving from Mexico that contained a live pest.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture entomology laboratory identified the pest as Cochabamba sp., a species belonging to the leaf beetle family, that can cause agricultural and economic damage.

A close up of a bee

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Picture of Cochabamba sp. Beetle discovered by U.S. CBP at the Pharr International Bridge.

The shipment was returned to Mexico, and while this was the first time this pest has ever been seen at a U.S. port of entry, it will be interesting to see if more turn up.

According to a study Economic Costs of Biological Invasions in The United States, the annual cost due to invasive pests is $21 billion dollars.

Top Invasive Pest Threats:

Asian Citrus Psyllid Asian Gypsy Moth Asian Longhorn Beetle
Citrus Greening Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Emerald Ash Borer Beetle
European Cherry Fruit Fly European Grapevine Moth European Gypsy Moth
False Codling Moth Giant African Snail Imported Fire Ant
Khapra Beetle Mediterranean Fruit Fly Mexican Fruit Fly
Old World Bollworm Oriental Fruit Fly Spotted Lanternfly


If you would like more information on this subject or any other global trade related subject, please contact Allyn at

Contributor: Matthew Dreckman


About Allyn International

Allyn International is dedicated to providing high quality, customer centric services and solutions for the global marketplace. Allyn's core products include transportation management, logistics sourcing, freight forwarding, supply chain consulting, tax management and global trade compliance. Allyn clients range from small local businesses to Fortune 500 firms. Allyn conducts business in more than 20 languages and has extensive experience in both developed and emerging markets. Highly trained experts are positioned throughout North America, Europe and Asia and Allyn regional headquarters are strategically located in Fort Myers FL USA, Shanghai P.R. CHINA and Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC. For more information, go to


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