CALEXICO, Calif. –A shipment of fresh broccoli that arrived at the Calexico East Cargo Facility into the United States was re-exported to Mexico for containing a Copitarsia larva also known as the “Noctuid Moth” on March 23.
On March 19, the fresh broccoli shipment was refused entry after it was selected for a secondary inspection. All contents of the trailer were completely offloaded by an U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialist.
During the inspection, one live larva was discovered and tentatively identified as the larva of the Noctuid Moth. Subsequently the shipment was placed on hold and the specimen was sent to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Quarantine identifier in San Diego who confirmed it as an actionable pest.
According to San Diego Office Field of Operations Agriculture Program Manager, Leslie Gomez-Montez, Noctuid Moth interceptions in broccoli are rare for the Calexico East Cargo Facility and the species is known to be intercepted more commonly elsewhere.
“For Calexico, this is a significant interception,” she said. “This Noctuid has been intercepted many times on broccoli at ports of entry in Texas. This particular shipment originated from the interior of Mexico, thus possibly accounting for this uncommon interception.”
Calexico Port Director Billy Whitford said the Calexico East Cargo Facility Agriculture Specialists are to be commended.
“Not only do we ensure the safety of our communities by keeping dangerous criminals and narcotics from passing through our ports of entry,” he said. “We also contribute to the protection of our agricultural economy by preventing the introduction of pests that could cause devastating damage to our crops.”