CBP Finds ‘First-in-Nation’ Pest that ‘Will Go Down in History’

This Corimelaena palrmeri was found in a shipment of flowers. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

CBP said it intercepted a “first-in-nation” pest that was hiding in a shipment of fresh cut flowers. 

The discovery of the Corimelaena palrmeri was a “remarkable finding that will go down in history,” CBP said in a news release. 

The small, black bug was found in a tractor-trailer during an intensive agriculture inspection at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility in California on in October. 

USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine Identifiers forwarded the pest for lab identification. 

A lab identified the pest on Jan. 25. 

“Discovering a first-in-nation pest at one of our ports of entry is an extraordinary achievement,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego. “Each year, CBP Agriculture Specialists intercept tens of thousands of pests, this accomplishment is a reflection of their immense hard work and dedication.”

As a precaution, the shipment and its driver were sent back to Mexico. 

In 2022, CBP officials discovered at least six first-in-nation pests, including leafhoppers, beetles and stink bugs. 

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