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Officials Find Bug Stowaway On Baltimore Ship

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There was an unusual find by the Department of Homeland Security at the Port of Baltimore: an invasive insect, capable of destroying crops.

Adam May reports why the discovery is part concern and part celebration.

A hitchhiker was discovered at the Port of Baltimore, hiding out in a container of Italian tiles. It’s a potentially damaging wood boring weevil.

“What’s mostly unusual about this is this is a rarely seen insect.  This type of weevil has only been seen in the U.S. nine other reported times,” said Steve Sapp, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Customs and Border Patrol compares the discovery to the dreaded stink bug, which may have hitched a ride from Asia in 2003.  This past summer, stink bugs blanketed many homes across Maryland because there’s no natural predator.

Like stink bugs, this new bug from Europe could have the potential to wipe out crops.

“Any type of impact on American agriculture will be costly,” Sapp said. “To recover from any type of insect, plant or animal disease that could wreak potential havoc on American agriculture.”

So Homeland Security says they’re going to keep searching for stowaways.

The container was fumigated and importers are on the lookout for any more.

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