Customs’ battle against the bugs

DETROIT is on the lookout for wood-eating insects amongst international air cargo.

Six inspections by US Customs and Border Protection in late January discovered eight insects at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Customs refused entry to the wood packaging materials in which they were found.

Agricultural specialists also discovered tunnels made by insects in wood packaging 13 times last month.

A boost in international wood trade has put customs on red alert, as invasive species cause extensive damage to trees and agricultural products.

Wood packaging materials must meet standards for international shipping and be stamped to show they have been fumigated or heat-treated.

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