Customs officials in Memphis discover chestnuts infested with insects

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — These chestnuts will not be roasting on an open fire.

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Customs officials in Memphis, Tennessee, found nine immature insects in a shipment headed for New York earlier this month, authorities said.

According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agriculture specialists seized the 8-kilogram shipment of chestnuts on Nov. 8. The shipment, which originated in Bolzano, Italy, was marked for a residential address in Long Island, officials said.

The shipment lacked necessary documentation, CBP officials said in its release.

The insects were identified as cydia, a large genus that includes approximately 11,000 species of moths. Some of the species have been found to be agricultural pests, the CBP said. In their larval stage, these insects can affect fruit and nut trees.

Officials also intercepted weevils from the Curculionidae family.

The chestnuts and other contaminated material were destroyed by steam sterilization, the CBP said.

“During this holiday season when consumers are ordering goods from around the world, it is important to use legitimate sellers who know our country’s import regulations,” Michael Neipert, the area port director of Memphis, said in a statement.