WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection is continuing its effort to remove invasive pests found in flower shipments ahead of Mother’s Day.
Since April 1, CBP agriculture specialists across the United States have inspected over 287,000 shipments of cut flowers from Europ, Asia, Africa and South America.
The country with the most shipment of flowers remains to be Colombia, who has shipped over 681,358,000 flower stems to the U.S. this spring.
Additionally, CBP said the most popular flowers include roses, mixed boquets and chchrysanthemums
However, travelling with some of these shipments oftentimes are invasive pests. Certain flowers and plant materials commonly found in floral arrangements are also restricted becayse they may carry plant pests and disease.
According to CBP, a single pest could cause millions of dollars of damage to agriculture nationwide.
In the 287,000 CBP-inspected shipments, agriculture specialists have intercepted 857 significant pests of varying species.
While it is not illegal to import certain plant material from other countries, CBP advised those who wish to import flowers, plants and other agricultural items to consult the CBP Information center before they travel.
Travelers are also required to declare all items acquired abroad to Customs Offiers to avoid civil or criminal penalties and reduce the risk of introducing pest and diseas to the United States.