MIAMI (AP) — Federal customs inspectors are checking tens of millions of cut flowers imported for Valentine's Day for potentially harmful pests.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Tuesday that 87 percent of all imported cut flowers for the holiday come through Miami, especially the main airport, followed by Los Angeles. Most shipments are from South America, particularly Colombia and Ecuador, with roses and mixed bouquets the most popular.
Last year, CBP processed more than 801 million cut flower stems nationally during Valentine's season from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14.
Common pests intercepted are mites, aphids, miner flies and moths. Last year more than 2,700 pests were found in flower inspections.
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