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Pest risk assessment of insects in sea cargo containers

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A survey of the floors of 3001 empty sea cargo containers in storage was undertaken to estimate the quarantine risk of importing exotic insect pests into Australia, with special reference to pests of timber. More than 7400 live and dead insects were collected from 1174 containers. No live infestations of timber-feeding insects were recorded, but feeding damage detected in one floor indicates a low risk of importing colonies of timber pests in containers. The survey collection of dead insects demonstrates that containers are regularly exposed to economically important quarantinable insects, including timber pests (bostrichids, curculionids, cerambycids, siricids and termites), agricultural pests (including Adoretus sinicus, Adoretus sp., Carpophilus obsoletus and Philaenus spumarius), and nuisance pests (vespids and Solenopsis sp.). Stored product pests were found in more than 10% of containers. The assessment of pest risk associated with shipping containers is discussed in terms of the quantity and quality of opportunities for exotic insects to establish via this pathway.
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Keywords: pest risk analysis; quarantine; shipping containers; timber pests

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: CRC for Tropical Pest Management and Department of Zoology and Entomology, The University of Queensland, Qld, 4072, Australia. 2: Orange Agricultural Institute, Forest Road, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia.

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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