New insect pest intercepted at Port of Baltimore

Invasive wood-borer discovered in tiles shipment

  • A wood-boring weevil found in Europe was discovered Dec. 6 at the Port of Baltimore.
A wood-boring weevil found in Europe was discovered Dec. 6 at… (Handout, Baltimore Sun )
December 21, 2010|By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun

Agricultural specialists with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol say they have intercepted a new foreign insect pest hiding in imported cargo at the Port of Baltimore.

The discovery of Stenopterapion tenue in a shipment of Italian tiles was a first for Baltimore, but it marked the 10th time since 2005 the bug has been discovered in cargo shipped to U.S. ports.

A wood-boring weevil found in Europe, S. tenue was discovered Dec. 6. It was identified by a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist last week.

"We don't know much about this particular species of weevil, said David Ng, CBP Agriculture supervisor for the port. "But we do know that it isn't indigenous to the United States, and if left unchecked could have a profound impact on America's crop plant industries."

Officials ordered the importer to fumigate the shipping container and its contents.

Among the better-known invasive species already causing agricultural damage in the U.S. are the gypsy moth, the brown marmorated stink bug, the hemlock woolly adelgid and the emerald ash borer.

Maryland weather blog: Frank Roylance on meteorology

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