From Jan. 1 to Feb. 7, CBP agricultural specialists at Los Angeles International Airport processed more than 16 million cut flower stems in 11,752 shipments and intercepted 191 pests.
“They apply their scientific expertise in detecting, intercepting, identifying and ultimately preventing pests from contaminating America’s crops, livestock and the environment,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP’s director of field operations in Los Angeles, in a statement.
According to the agency, more than 66 percent of the cut flower stems are imported from Colombia, followed by 24 percent from Ecuador, 2.5 percent from Mexico and 1.7 percent from the Netherlands. The top three cut flower stems imported are roses, mixed bouquets and rose bouquets.
The most common pests intercepted by CBP agriculture specialists in imported flowers are aphids, thrips, moths, miner flies and mites.
Other large U.S. inbound ports for flowers during this same period included New York’s JFK International Airport (13,919,911 stems); Otay Mesa, Calif. (13,852,357 stems); Laredo, Texas (8,511,854 stems); San Diego (6,537,607 stems); New Jersey’s Newark (3.094,853 stems); and Chicago (2,347,079 stems), the agency noted.