Buy a bouquet south of the border and your Valentine might wind up empty-handed.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol specialists at El Paso, Texas, area border crossings are on full alert as V-Day approaches to prevent banned bouquets from entering the United States from Mexico, the Tampa Bay Times reported Feb. 10.
Flower arrangements from Mexico sometimes ferry pests and diseases across the border and some blooms are illegal to bring into the United States, according to a Feb. 8 CBP press release. “Valentine’s Day week is one of the busiest periods of the year for CBP agriculture specialists,” CBP El Paso Director of Field Operations Hector Mancha said in the statement. At El Paso crossings, CBP most often seizes chrysanthemums and choisya, a greenery filler in bouquets.
El Paso area CBP agriculture specialists recorded a total of 43,632 interceptions of agricultural quarantine material and 1,577 pest interceptions during fiscal year 2017.