USDA stops infested pinecone imports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced a national recall of pinecones from India.
Infested pinecones have been found in Frank’s Nursery, K-mart, Target, Wal-Mart, JoAnn Fabrics, Lowe’s, Dollar Tree and Safeway stores throughout the country.
“Store managers and consumers concerned about possible infestation should check for exit holes in the cone, a sawdust-like material called frass or egg sacs in the crevices between the scales of the pine cones,” the agency said.
APHIS has identified a wood-boring beetle that feeds on pinecones not known to exist in the United States.
The agency recommended that infested pinecones should be either frozen, or double bagged, tied securely and disposed of in the trash. Frozen cones should remain in the freezer for at least two days to kill the pests.
APHIS also mandated the fumigation of future shipments of Indian origin pinecones before they enter the United States. Pine cones packaged in nonpermeable materials will be refused entry or destroyed, since they cannot be fumigated, the agency said.