LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A shipment of Australian oranges bound for Florida was seized at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex, because an elephant weevil was found in the shipping container, Customs and Border Protection agricultural inspectors said today.
According to CPB, it was the first case of the grape-vine-ravaging pest being found in the United States, Lee Harty of CPB said. The container, bound for Fort Pierce, Fla., was fumigated Friday and released.
Elephant weevils, native to Australia, could be a hazard to California grape and wine industry, according to CPB. It attacks roots, stems and fruit of vine crops. It also feeds on eucalyptus, citrus and other fruit trees and blueberry bushes, and fruit trees.
The weevils, typically 10-20 mm in length depending on sex, have big snouts that resembles an elephant’s trunk.