One of 'World's Worst' invaders found in port shipment - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

One of 'World's Worst' invaders found in port shipment

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The Pheidole species, known as the bigheaded ant The Pheidole species, known as the bigheaded ant
Picture of the shipment where the bigheaded ant was found Picture of the shipment where the bigheaded ant was found

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Border Protection officials say a shipment from Costa Rica was infested with several insects, including an invasive ant species that has been nominated as a top 100 "World's Worst" invaders.

The aluminum scrap metal shipment from Costa Rica arrived in the Charleston port on April 30, 2013.

United States Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists found over a dozen crawling and flying insects in the shipment. Among those was the infamous Pheidole species referred to as a bigheaded ant.

The bigheaded ant is considered a serious invasive species that is a serious threat to plant productivity and harvesting. It has also been reported that the species are known to chew on irrigation pipes and telephone cabling as well as electrical wires.

USDA officials say the species can cause the extinction of native species and already has in some areas.

Border Protection officials say the specialists that discovered the infestation have significant training and will perform extensive fumigation on the shipment.

Steve Switzer from Dept Of Homeland Security says fumigation is pending and should happen soon.  He says it's up to different companies to make the arrangements, however in the meantime they have sealed the container.

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