Although international regulations have been successfully implemented to reduce the introduction and spread of plant pests through wood packaging material (WPM), wood-boring insects continue to be intercepted in WPM at U.S. ports of entry. Both hardwoods and softwoods are used in the construction of WPM for international trade; however, it is not clear if some types of wood pose higher risks than others for harboring wood borers. This study documented the taxonomic diversity of infested wood genera intercepted as a result of targeted WPM inspection at U.S. ports, and identified many of the wood-boring insects transported within them. The results of this study reveal associations among packaging woods, commodities, and shipment origins. The wood genera most frequently infested were Pinus Linnaeus (Pinales: Pinaceae), Picea Miller (Pinales: Pinaceae), and Populus Linnaeus (Malpighiales: Salicaceae), which were heavily represented as packaging for commodities such as stone, metal, vehicles, and machinery. In addition to these results, we summarized preferences by the wood borers to develop in living, stressed, dying, or dead hosts, the pest status of intercepted wood borers in their native and non-native ranges, and potential host range of intercepted wood borers to gauge potential for these taxa to become pests in North America. New possible host associations are reported for eight wood borer taxa. Taxonomy of host wood is presented as a new factor for consideration in pathway-level risk analysis of WPM, and the findings further reinforce the need for enhanced compliance with ISPM 15 to reduce entry of non-native wood-boring insects.
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Vol. 113 • No. 3