Inspectors working border crossings in southern New Mexico and West Texas have discovered two types of agricultural pests in separate shipments of red peppers from Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say last week stink bugs were found during an inspection at the Columbus, N.M., port of entry and flea beetles were found by inspectors working in Presidio, Texas.
Agricultural specialists say stink bugs can ruin entire crops and the beetles can damage crops in a number of ways.
Both shipments of red peppers were promptly returned to Mexico.
Customs and Border Protection acting field director David Higgerson says agricultural inspections help safeguard farmers by stopping potentially devastating pests and diseases from spreading to U.S. crops. He noted the significance of the region's chile crop.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.