New Stinkbug Intercepted in Dundalk by Baltimore Customs Officials

The foreign bug was discovered April 8 in a shipment of ceramic tile from Italy.

The spring of 2013 seems to be the season of bugs.

Residents are being warned about a brood of cicadas about ready to burst forth from the ground and hibernating brown marmorated stinkbugs are beginning to stir.

But thanks to the diligence of Port of Baltimore inspectors, a new species of stinkbug has been intercepted.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists recently discovered the bug while inspecting a shipment of ceramic tile, according to a statement from Baltimore's Customs and Border Protection office.

Inspectors found the bug, a type of stinkbug known by the scientific name of Sciocoris sideritidis, while inspecting the shipment from Italy on April 8. The interloper was discovered after a container from a ship docked at the Seagirt Marine Terminal was taken to the Dundalk terminal for inspection, according to Robert Hunt, a program manager for Customs and Border Patrol.

It is the first time that particular type of stinkbug has been found in the country, according to the statement.

Stinkbugs pose a significant agriculture threat because they suck the juices out of plants, fruits and seeds, according to officials. They are capable of doing enough damage to significantly reduce a farmer's crop yield.

"CBP agriculture specialists take their job of detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests very seriously," Ricardo Scheller, Customs and Border Patrol director for the Port of Baltimore, said in the statement.

He credited the diligent work of agriculture specialists with finding a "new potential threat to the U.S. agriculture industry."

Once the intercepted bug was identified by a U.S. Department of Agriculture entomologist, the importer was told to either re-export the shipment or have it fumigated. The importer has chosen the fumigation option, according to the statement.

Al Day April 14, 2013 at 05:44 PM
I have to tell anyone who has not seen an outbreak of these in action that it's not just crops that are at stake. These burrow into homes and buildings and do real damage the likes of which you cannot imagine without first hand witness. When in full migration in the fall months these swarm and cover most surfaces in homes and business' with damage to food, merchandise, furnishings, carpeting, painted walls, etc. And there is not getting rid of them with insecticides. Furthermore, once an infestation occurs they can be found for years in boxes stored in attics and basements and closets sometimes filling the boxes and destroyed content. The odor is just one facet of this insidious creation. I can relate a trip to the park one fall day and upon entering an ice cream shop to treat my children found that these had attached the shop and were in the air and in the ice cream. The poor owner was beyond words. And they swarm in a matter of moments without warning causing so much damage before anyone can react. Some think of them as ladybugs. They look a lot like a ladybug. But they are not ladybugs. I hope whoever packed them up and shipped them here is dealt with adaquately enough to curb future problems.
Steve April 14, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Well, if you didn't like the Cicada Tacos, maybe you'll like the Stinkbug pate. http://www.wayz.com/Stink-Bug-Recipe---Yes--more-Stink-Bugs/6929886?archive=1&pid=22659
Steve April 14, 2013 at 07:08 PM
.....and no matter how bad you think it is, it can be worse. We have these at our beach house in Florida. http://news.yahoo.com/florida-battles-slimy-invasion-giant-snails-161432518--sector.html
Susan Compton April 14, 2013 at 10:00 PM
They need to do something about all the bugs!! I am hearing everyone is running into a bed bug issue.


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