Pest Risk Assessment of Citrus Imports From Egypt

Josh McGillInternational, Pests, Regulation

Editor’s note: The comment period has been extended to give stakeholders additional time to submit comments. The draft pest risk assessment will be available for review and comment until March 14, 2023.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has drafted a pest risk assessment for the importation of fresh oranges and tangerines from Egypt into the United States. The assessment describes potential pests associated with the commodity. This pest risk assessment will update a Federal Register notice published in 2013 that included a pest list and the U.S. geographic areas that can receive these imports.

pest risk assessment
Photo by Evie Fjord on Unsplash

APHIS has designated two insects that occur in Egypt as candidates for pest risk management because they have met the threshold for unacceptable consequences of introduction and can follow the commodity import pathway. These pests are Dacus ciliatus and Cryptoblabes gnidiella. Both are designated as having a medium likelihood of introduction.

D. ciliates, the lesser pumpkin fly, is a highly mobile polyphagous pest. Adult flies produce an average of 210 eggs and insert them into soft fruit and vegetables. The larvae feed inside the host, emerging to pupate in the soil. Several generations occur annually in Egypt. 

C. gnidiella, the honeydew moth, is attracted to hosts with populations of honeydew-producing insects. Larvae create and live in a silken tube covered in waste hidden between fruits and leaves of their host. Larvae feed on fruit, particularly citrus, causing secondary rot and fruit drop.

APHIS shares draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have information that might lead the agency to revise the draft assessment before it identifies pest mitigations and proceeds with the commodity import approval process.

The draft pest risk assessment for importation of oranges and tangerines from Egypt into the United States will be available for review and comment until Feb. 12. See here to view the assessment or submit comments.


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