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Official Pest Reports

Official Pest Reports are provided by National Plant Protection Organizations within the NAPPO region. These Pest Reports are intended to comply with the International Plant Protection Convention's Standard on Pest Reporting, endorsed by the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures in March 2002.

USA Flag Detections of Red Palm Mite (Raoiella indica) in Palm Beach County, Florida - United States
Date posted: 12/14/2007
Contact: Brian Kopper, Eastern Regional Program Manager, (919) 855-7318
Valerie DeFeo, Staff Officer, (301) 734- 4387
On December 7, 2007, APHIS confirmed detections of the red palm mite (RPM), Raoiella indica, in Palm Beach County, Florida. This is the first confirmed find of this pest in the continental United States. In November 2006, APHIS confirmed the presence of RPM in areas of Puerto Rico. RPM is a pest of international quarantine significance and a direct threat to the ornamental palm and coconut industries in Florida, Alabama, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Texas.

Since its first detection in Puerto Rico, APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program has informed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to heighten inspection vigilance of agricultural host plants during pre-departure passenger and cargo clearance of flights destined for the mainland United States. In addition, PPQ coordinated the formation of a technical working group of subject matter experts to identify methods and strategies for RPM survey, detection, identification, and management; this group continues to assess new development and detections. Delimiting surveys are ongoing and, to date, no detections have occurred at nurseries that ship interstate.

RPM originates from Asia and Africa. It was first detected in the Western Hemisphere on the Caribbean Island of Martinique in 2003, and has since spread to other islands including Dominica, Trinidad, and Guadeloupe. Wind currents and transport of infested plants and leaves are the mode of dispersion for this mite.

Under IPPC standards, Raoiella indica is considered to be a pest that is transient, actionable, and under surveillance in the United States

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