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Officials inspect imported flowers

by webdev

February 08, 2011

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and florists around the country are busy ensuring they have enough stock to keep up with the demand for Valentine's Day flowers.

Many of the blooms that make up fresh flower arrangements, baskets and bouquets are imported from countries including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Thailand and Holland.

But before flowers such as roses, tulips, lilies, carnations and chrysanthemums make their way to your local flower shop, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists spend hours inspecting them for potentially harmful pests.

"Stopping pests at the ports of entry is a critical mission for our Agricultural Specialists in order to protect the public and our commercial vitality," specialist Marcelino Borges told

The website reports that Customs and Border Protection processed approximately 320.8 million cut flower stems during the 2010 Valentine's season, which ranges from January 1 through February 14. This year, even more blooms are expected to be imported.

Officials carefully inspect all flower shipments for signs of insects and other invasive pests that could be dangerous to U.S. crops. Inspectors say they usually find about 90 different potentially dangerous pests each day.

When a contaminated shipment is found, it is quarantined and then fumigated to ensure its safety.


This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists.

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