APHIS Amends Entry Requirements for Importation of Fragaria spp., Rosa spp., and Rubus spp. Plants from Canada into the United States

Effective September 14, 2021, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the entry requirements for the importation of Fragaria spp., Rosa spp., and Rubus spp. plants produced in Canada to prevent the introduction of the strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi) into the United States.

Strawberry blossom weevil is a serious pest of strawberry (Fragaria spp.) and raspberry (Rubus spp.). Blackberry (Rubus spp.) and rose (Rosa spp.) are considered occasional hosts. When imported as plants for planting these hosts represent a pathway for the entry of this pest into the United States. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported strawberry blossom weevil populations being detected in British Columbia, Canada.  This detection is the first confirmed report of this pest in North America.

The strawberry blossom weevil females lay eggs in unopened flower buds of their hosts.  The female will then chew through the stem just below the bud, and the bud will drop from the plant.  Eggs, larvae, and pupae are found inside closed flower buds of host plants.  The larvae feed and develop in the “clipped” bud, which will reduce the total number of viable buds on the plant.  The lost bud will not be able to produce a fruit once clipped.  In Europe, this pest has caused up to 80% loss of the berry crop. 

To prevent the introduction of strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi) into the United States, APHIS requires that Fragaria spp., Rosa spp., and Rubus spp. plants for planting produced in Canada must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating:

·         The plants have been produced and certified by the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) of Canada as a pest-free place of production or a pest free production site for the strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi) following the requirements of the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures-10. The shipment has been inspected and found to be free of the strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi).

For additional information regarding this Federal Order, please contact Senior Regulatory Specialist Narasimha Chary Samboju at 301-851-2038 or narasimha.c.samboju@usda.gov.