Christmas tree shipments treated to eliminate pests

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Christmas trees have begun to arrive on island. (Photo courtesy Guam Customs)

Containers of Christmas trees have begun to arrive on island and they are being fumigated to eliminate any pests that may have come along for the ride.

A release from Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency advises that their BioSecurity Task Force began treating the first containers of trees that arrived last week and in the weeks ahead they will continue to monitor and certify that the trees have been treated once they arrive.

The first treatment occurred last week on Monday, November 18.

Since then, the agency has treated six other containers with over 2,500 Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands.

Seven more containers are scheduled for treatment in the upcoming weeks.

Each container of trees is treated with methyl bromide which is a gas sprayed into the container’s interior.

The container remains sealed for a period of time and is then opened by Customs officers who inspect it to ensure the gas has killed all the insects or other invasive species that may have come along with the trees.

The container is released once it has passed the Customs inspection.

The release from Guam Customs states that the treatment has proven successful in eliminating various species of beetles, ants, and spiders.

In 2016, the Guam Invasive Species Council unanimously approved a Department of Agriculture policy requiring that all imported Christmas trees be fumigated upon arrival.

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