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Civilization is Saved: Deadly Plant Pest Intercepted in Pepper Shipment at LAX

Photo by Art Konovalov via Shutterstock
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The U.S. economy, agricultural industry, and native flora and fauna have all been spared the damage of one of the world's most destructive crop pests thanks to an interception by federal border agents working at Los Angeles International Airport.Officials announced today that a shipment of orange bell peppers from Spain sent to L.A. by air was carrying the leafhopper (Hardya melanopsis), according to City News Service. The shipment was inspected and the insect discovered on December 8.

Leafhoppers are particularly troublesome because of how they feed on plant stems and leaves above ground, and transmit viruses, mycoplasma-like organisms, and bacteria to healthy plant tissue, which results in serious plant damage on a scale capable of derailing the agricultural business, and, consequently, the economy.

This find was confirmed soon after as being the first in the nation.