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LAX inspectors stop pests in imported Valentine’s flowers

February 12, 2019
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In this Feb. 6, 2019 photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) check all imported Valentine's Day cut flowers of pests and diseases. The agency said in a statement Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, that between Jan. 1 and Feb. 7, the specialists at LAX processed more than 16 million cut flower stems and intercepted 191 pests. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection says its agricultural specialists at Los Angeles International Airport are working hard to keep pests and diseases from entering the country with imported Valentine’s Day flowers.

The agency says in a statement Tuesday that between Jan. 1 and Feb. 7, the specialists at LAX processed more than 16 million cut flower stems and intercepted 191 pests.

More than 66 percent are from Colombia, 24 percent from Ecuador, 2.5 percent from Mexico and 1.7 percent from the Netherlands.

The top imported flowers stems are roses, mixed bouquets, and rose bouquets.

The most common pests intercepted are species of aphids, thrips, moths, miner flies and mites.

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