Bouquets & Bugs: How Customs At Logan Airport Inspects Valentine Flowers

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — With Valentine's Day right around the corner, anyone hoping to import bouquets for the holiday may be interested to know how their flowers are checked when they come through the door.

United States Customs & Border Protection agents at Logan International Airport said they are busy making sure plants coming into the airport are clean and safe for their intended recipients.

"We do come across insects that are not established here, and that can affect our agricultural products inversely," said Chief Agriculture Specialist for U.S Customs & Border Protection at Logan Airport Baljeet Kaur.

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Kaur said that because agents can't inspect each and every petal, the most common check is to gently shake the bouquet and look for insects or plant diseases that would threaten America's ecosystem. The checks aren't unfounded either, Kaur said that at least once a month agents will find a disease attached to foreign flower gifts. With a substantial increase in bouquets passing through customs for Valentine's Day, Kaur said that the checks are meant to be quick but efficient to make sure incoming bouquets don't spoil the soil.

"Agricultural Specialists mostly have background in biology, we even have entomologists that work for us," Kaur said.

WBZ's Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports.

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