Skip to Main Content
Interceptions of nonindigenous plant pests at US ports of entry and border crossings over a 17-year periodAuthor(s): Deborah G. McCullough; Timothy T. Work; Joseph F. Cavey; Andrew M. Liebhold; David Marshall
Source: Biological Invasions 8:611-630
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (1.83 MB)
DescriptionDespite the substantial impacts of nonindigenous plant pests and weeds, relatively little is known about the pathways by which these organisms arrive in the U.S. One source of such information is the Port Information Network (PIN) database, maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) since 1984. The PIN database is comprised of records of pests intercepted by APHIS personnel during inspections of travelers' baggage, cargo, conveyances and related items arriving at U.S. ports of entry and border crossings. Each record typically includes the taxonomic identify of the pest, its country of origin, and information related to the commodity and interception site. We summarized more than 725,000 pest interceptions recorded in PIN from 1984 to 2000 to examine origins, interception sites and modes of transport for nonindigenous insects, mites, mollusks, nematodes, plant pathogens and weeds. Roughly 62% of intercepted pests were associated with baggage, 30% were associated with cargo and 7% were associated with plant propagative material. Pest interceptions occurred most commonly at airports (73%), U.S.-Mexico land border crossings (13%) and marine ports (9%). Insects dominated the database, comprising 73 to 84% of the records annually, with the orders Homoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera collectively accounting for over 75% of the insect records. Plant pathogens, weeds and mollusks accounted for 13, 7 and 1.5% of all pest records, respectively, while mites and nematodes comprised less than 1% of the records. Pests were intercepted from at least 259 different locations. Common origins included Mexico, Central and South American countries, the Caribbean and Asia. Within specific commodity pathways, richness of the pest taxa generally increased linearly with the number of interceptions. Application of PIN data for statistically robust predictions is limited by nonrandom sampling protocols, but the data provide a valuable historical record of the array of nonindigenous organisms transported to the U.S. through international trade and travel.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationMcCullough, Deborah G.; Work, Timothy T.; Cavey, Joseph F.; Liebhold, Andrew M.; Marshall, David. 2006. Interceptions of nonindigenous plant pests at US ports of entry and border crossings over a 17-year period. Biological Invasions 8:611-630
Keywordsexotic insects, exotic species, exotic weeds, invasion pathways, nonindigenous pest arrival, Port Information Network database
- Intercepted bark beetles (Scolytidae) at U.S. ports of entry: 1985 - 2000
- Phoretic mites and nematode associates of Scolytus multistraitus and Scolytus pygmaeus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in Austria
- Intercepted Scolytidae (Coleoptera) at U.S. ports of entry: 1985-2000.
XML: View XML