Chestnuts infested with insects found by customs officials in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The holidays might look a little different for those wanting to roast chestnuts by an open fire.

Nine immature insects in a shipment of chestnuts headed for New York earlier this month were found by customs officials, a release said.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agriculture specialists seized the 8-kilogram shipment of chestnuts on Nov. 8.

The shipment that originally came from Bolzano, Italy, was marked for a residential address in Long Island, officials said.

“During this holiday season when consumers are ordering goods from around the world, it is important to use legitimate sellers who know our country’s import regulations,” Michael Neipert, the area port director of Memphis, said in a statement.

According to a release, the shipment of the chestnuts lacked the necessary documentation which prompted an inspection.

The insects were identified as cydia.

Cydia is large genus that includes approximately 11,000 species of moths. The Cydia genus contains multiple species that are known as agricultural pests while in their larval stage, particularly affecting fruit and nut trees.

The chestnuts and other contaminated material were destroyed by steam sterilization, the CBP said.

According to officials, the seizure took place within the Area Port of Memphis, which covers ports of entry throughout the state of Tennessee and falls under CBP’s New Orleans Field Office.

The New Orleans Field Office includes all ports in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.

For more information, visit CBP’s website.