California bug stations to focus on trucks, SUVs

| 8/15/2003

People driving south on U.S. Highway 101 have traditionally been stopped at the California border at the Smith River Agriculture Inspection Station so employees can check for fruits or vegetables that could contain pests.

But the "bug station," as the locals call it, will change the way it does inspections and has ceased hiring seasonal employees because of a major budget reduction to the inspection program.

Steve Lyle, Public Affairs Officer for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, said the new focus would be inspecting commercial trucks, RVs and moving vans, “which have shown a greater risk of introduction of pests into California,” the Curry Coastal Pilot reports.

Lyle said the changes would occur at the 17 inspection stations in the state.

Officials said pests found at inspection stations include the gypsy moth, imported fire ant, boll weevil, Mexican fruit fly, zebra mussel, pecan weevil, Japanese beetle and the Mexican fruit fly.