Destructive pest found in shipment at Port of Philadelphia
(AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that one of the world's most destructive agricultural pests was found in a recent shipment at the Port of Philadelphia in Camden.
Federal authorities say the presence of Mediterranean fruit flies, also known as MedFly, was detected during the routine inspection of 105,000 crates of clementines from Morocco on Dec. 14.
Agricultural specialists discovered one live MedFly larvae in the shipment among many dead others. The shipment was headed to markets across the country.
The female MedFly attacks ripening fruit by piercing its skin and laying eggs in the cavity. The eggs hatch into larvae that feast on the inside of the fruit and make it inedible.
A MedFly infestation several years ago caused billions of dollars in damage to crops in California.