By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Port of Baltimore proved to be the last stop for a bug not more than an inch long—and it’s lucky it was stopped.

Alex DeMetrick reports where this insect from Asia has slipped in, billions of dollars in damage has followed.

Out of the thousands of shipping containers moving into the Port of Baltimore, only a fraction are physically inspected.  Fortunately, one of those inspections turned up an brown fir longhorned beetle.

“It’s native to China.  It could cause significant damage to forestry and the timber industry,” said David Ng, U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

And not just timber grown for harvest.  The brown fir longhorned beetle will gnaw into and kill trees from state forests to backyards.  It’s caused billions in losses in New England and its first appearance here was stopped at the port.

“It’s what we call a hitchhiking pest.  Those containers are in other ports.  Doors are open.  Cargo’s sitting around fields and trees and whatever can fly into them can go along for the ride,” Ng said.

For the past few years, Maryland has been destroying thousands of ash trees to stop another foreign invader that did sneak in—the emerald ash borer.

Gypsy moths have also become established in Maryland after being brought to the U.S. from Asia.  Massive spraying programs have not eliminated them.

This spring, Asian stink bugs are expected in plague-like numbers in Maryland after making their way to the mid-Atlantic a few years ago in a shipping container.

Fortunately, the brown fir longhorned beetle is one hitchhiker whose ride stopped short.

The Port of Baltimore is one of the entry points into the country staffed with a full-time entomologist, an insect scientist looking for foreign invaders.

Comments (32)
  1. dandydon says:

    Nothing good comes from Asian countries. Flu’s , disease, snakeheads, zebra mussels etc. We suffer the consquences.

    1. altro says:

      And we sell them our safe nuclear reactors….

      You seem to think it doesn’t go both ways…wrong.

      1. Jeff says:

        Nice comeback. My son lives in Japan and luckily escaped the deluge…for now. We (Americans), bring crime, corruption, and rape all the natural resources from other countries.Oh, and by the way, i live in Maryland near Calvert Cliffs Nuclear plant. coincidentally, They have suddenly found elevated radiation levels of radiation there, and actually expect us to believe it is coming from Japan.

  2. George M Hopkins says:

    how many did not get caught. just like illegals.

    1. Lydia says:

      You are an insensitive, rude “human being” Comparing illegal immigrants to bugs? Really?? How many illegal immigrants serve this nation and ALLOW idiots like you the freedom to pop off at the mouth? hmmmm… Yeah, thats right. Shut it.

      1. padre says:

        Wait. How exactly and in what way do Illegals serve the country and in so doing ALLOW people to speak freely??????

      2. Not going to take it says:

        Lydia, i’m sorry if George insulted you. Now, why don’t you pop off and shut up! That’s right! YOU shut up! These illegals are parasites and are breeding faster then rabbits and destroying our land. How do you like that?

      3. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

        NO illegal immigrants serve this nation..ZERO..they are illegal and criminals…What part of illegal don’t you understand? We don’t allow illegals in our military…do some research before you POP OFF at your mouth…now shut yer pie hole

    2. ashley says:

      true !!! lol but funny

    3. challenge says:

      You said a mouthful, George!

      We have a major security problem in this country which our swinging door border issues prove.

      Why we did not do something about the 14th amendment interpretation YEARS ago ( like in the 80s ) is beyond me! Every other sane country stopped the very thing that is happening long ago — and we knew we needed to also!

      Why we do not SHOOT anyone not halting who is illegally crossing OR doing some other illegal act, I do not know. Most of those coming and going in and out of our country are dealing in drugs or human trafficking. Way overdue to take real action.

      Time to close the border to more than just people especially with this radiation issue on our doorsteps and no way to protect us from more contaminated goods.

  3. pigeon says:

    So when in the heck are you going to put a stop on importing from Asia. What’s the ratio of imports from to exports to – bet it’s darn low on the export side of the scale. I can think of a lot of things we have been getting from other countries lately; let’s share with the asias the same as they share with us.

  4. Bruce Simpson says:

    Welcome to Walmart

    1. Larry the Cable Guy says:

      BAH HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Nice…. I dont care who you are, that’s funny right there! 🙂

  5. Baltumorebob says:

    Well first all lydia u are a mex I bet and also nothing is good about asia or bugs so I say the hell,with all of u nin usa citz and your bugs

  6. d says:

    Are you enjoying the Spring cherry blossoms? A gift from Asia!

    1. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

      Are you enjoying the spring radiation? A gift from asia!

  7. CSPR says:

    Bugs, peasants. Not much difference between the two. too bad we do not have peasant spray.

    1. jeff says:

      Peasants ??!! is it lonely up there on your pedestal ?

  8. Jono says:

    Wheat, barley, millet, rice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cattle, chickens, horses, black pepper, yogurt, tea, sugar, grapes, wine, apples, oranges, peaches, limes, lemons are all from Asia. And most white people, unless you’re Basque.

  9. ck says:

    The real problem is the US will accept packages and crates without any treatment for insects. When we ship anything to other countries it is specified that we send it in treated crates with paper work guaranteeing that it has been treated for insects.The US does not require this.

    1. SMH says:

      Well that is something i did not know and Seems pretty stupid! maybe we should stop worry about supporting other countries and start worrying about and supporting our own for a change!

  10. marian says:

    excuse me. but if this bug did get in and had no enemies then our great government would then inport an insect that would kill this bug. hello??? and by the way where did killer bees come from? wasn’t asia and neither were the fire ants among lots of others. these came from south america. its americas fault for not ordering items shipped the same way we do at these countries demand. why? because their excuse is THEY CANNOT AFFORD IT!!!!

  11. vitaliy says:

    You know that unlike Americans… Foreigners are not LAZY and work! Trust me I know

    1. Not going to take it says:

      vitaliy I don’t know how you can say that! AMERICANS are supporting your lazy illegal butt. You may work but you send the money home and still collect our welfare, food stamps, health care. They should sterilize the lot of you at birth. You are a parasite.

    2. CSPR says:

      Ignorant people like Vitaliy are to be trusted? You are breaking the law just having your dirty, nasty piehole in this country. Like bugs you should be exterminated. that way I can actually use the benifits my tax dollars pay for.
      Not the bug or peasant or other freeloaders who just take, never puting anything back. you do not know anything. you are just another freeloader.

  12. NSF says:

    They found ONE BUG? Do you really think finding one bug and saying “HOORAY!!!”
    is gonna solve the problem? If there was one, I sure there was a dozen. This report is idiotic. Something fishy going on here…

  13. Holben Halberto says:

    Say what you will about Mexicans. Some of the best concrete finishers and landscapers are Mexican. They don’t get paid much, they don’t get overtime and they work their little pinto beans off.

    1. Ronald G Miner Jr says:

      And if you get caught employing them you could potentially lose your livelihood..

  14. DT says:

    George, I’m with lydia. How dare you compare illegal immigrants to bugs! Your are such an insensitive, rude man. The bugs that come into this country work hard and raise families and do not ever ask for free handouts, welfare, tuition reductions, higher minimun wage etc etc. How dare you compare them to those filthy illegals

  15. challenge says:

    DId we test these IMPORTS for radioactivity??
    We should not be allowing anything from that surrounding area without testing!

    It is bad enough People flew on a plane that were radioactive. You do now that people who have had medical radiation procedures are not allowed to travel on buses, planes, sleep in hotels, etc. So why would you contaminate others by not testing someone getting on a plane OR products from this neck of the world?

    And we are to trust our government to protect us OR protect us from the imports coming into this country ( food, toys, supplies, cars, etc ) ??

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