It turns out that the Asian longhorned beetle has been useful for one thing recently. And it’s not what you might expect—a drug bust.
In an unexpected twist of fate, Canadian border patrol agents on alert for invasive pests wound up nabbing drug smugglers for 1.7 tons of hashish. The drugs were hidden—convincingly— in a 19 crate shipment of masks and statues from South Africa.
But the would-be drug smugglers’ plans were foiled by the wood used in the crates. Authorities flagged the wood to check for any pests attempting to hitch a ride into the country.
According to the Montreal Gazette article: “The Asian longhorned beetle has been making it onto Canadian Border Service Agency statements as prominently as hashish seizures: The insect’s appetite for such hardwood trees as maple, poplar, willow, elm and birch is so voracious that the border agency describes the species as ‘an invasive quarantine pest.’”
Thanks to the good work of the CBSA for keeping out pests of all kinds!