Rare pest found in shipment of fruit at Pharr International Bridge

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A rare pest was discovered inside a shipment of fresh fruit at the Pharr International Bridge last week. 

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP agriculture specialists found the live pest within boxes of mangosteen while conducting an inspection of a shipment arriving from Mexico. 

Officials say the insect was sent to a lab and was later confirmed to be a species that belongs to what is called the leaf beetle family. 

The Cochabamba sp. is found in central and south America. Officials say the pest can cause agricultural and economic damage because the adult insects eat plant and tree leaves that cause damage to foliage. 

According to USDA entomologists, the pest has never been found at any of the nation’s ports of entry

The shipment was returned to Mexico. 


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