News Americas, BALTIMORE, M.D., Weds. July 30, 2014: A new type of caterpillar was recently found in soursop leaves found in a Jamaican passenger’s luggage, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist has confirmed.
The caterpillar was discovered in tea bush leaves carried by a passenger arriving from Jamaica during a routine examination of luggage by the U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations (OFO) agriculture specialists at Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport.
CBP seized the infested soursop leaves and forwarded a specimen to a USDA- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) entomologist for identification. The remaining sour sop leaves were then destroyed by incineration.
“CBP agriculture specialists are very good at detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests,” said Dianna Bowman CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. “This discovery highlights the importance of the work they do, part of which is protecting the U.S. agriculture industry.”