‘Destructive' Termites Stowed Away in Pineapple Shipment to Philadelphia

A shipment of pineapples that landed in Philadelphia from the Caribbean recently was infested with a "destructive" termite that hasn't been seen in the city before.

Twenty live cryptotermes were found on February 10 at the Port of Philadelphia in wood packaging material holding pineapples coming from the Dominican Republic, officials from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday.

It was the first time this termite was discovered by agriculture inspectors in Philadelphia, officials said.

The termites infest dry wood and have caused $1.5 billion in damage to wooden structures in the southeastern United States, officials said.

Inspectors found similar termites infested in materials from a shipment that arrived on February 5. All of the materials were ordered shipped back to the Dominican Republic, officials said.

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