Customs Agents Show KGNS How Inspect Valentines Flowers
The most popular day of the year for flower sales will be here before we know it. Valentines Day also means a busy few weeks are ahead for customs and border patrol agents. Millions of flowers will be imported into the United States and it's U.S. Customs responsibility to make sure nothing else comes with them. Banging, shaking and keeping a close eye is the techniques these agricultural specialist use to prevent foreign pests from entering into the United States. "Most of the time they will kind of stomp the flowers a little and stuff. They try to see if any of the pests will break loose. They will open the leaves, look for different types of diseases." One pest was found today in inspections. Customs officials said it depends on what kind of pest it could be that determines what actions will take place. "If we find a pest that does not occur in the United States, of a foreign nature then we would take an action by refusing the flowers or requiring fumigation of flowers or different treatment. That will have to be done to eliminate that pest problem." The three weeks before Valentines Day is when customs agents said is their busiest time for flower inspections. Last year, Customs agents nationwide processed over 842-million flowers being imported into the United State. Agents here in Laredo are expecting to see an even bigger increase in 2013. The Laredo port ranks fifth in the U.S. for number of processed shipments of flowers.