As The Worm Turns

Recently a local newspaper reported that a Latin American hitchhiker was discovered in the Port of Gulfport.

The small, hairy, wormy-looking creature was so unfamiliar that Customs and Border Protection officials turned over a sample to experts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. There, it was identified as Faustinus rhombifer Champion (Curculionidae).

Customs and Border Protection said the insect is part of a species that feeds on vegetation, stems and leaves “of a multitude of plants.” In other words, had the insect gotten into the U.S. through Gulfport, it eventually could have spread and devoured plants.

It was great that they discovered the little bugger before it had a chance to get lose on the population and do some real damage.

I have a problem with the statement that came out of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection:

“The significance of this is that it’s a pest that has not been identified before,” said Virginia Dabbs, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Although her agency said agro-terrorism has become a growing threat to the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks, that is not the case here, Dabbs said, “It is not uncommon for us to discover pests at ports.”

Agro-terrorism?  Why bring this up at all?  This bug had NOTHING to do with the attacks on the Twin Towers….this bug is just a creation of Mother Nature doing what it does…eating plants.  Why bring the word terrorism into to the story at all?  The US CBP did a fine job of locating and sending this threat back where it came from…no need to throw 9/11 into the story at all.


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