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These are some of the critters inspectors found in shipments of Christmas trees to Hawaii

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 4:05 PM HST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 4:40 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - So far, about 80% of Hawaii’s expected Christmas tree shipments have arrived in the islands, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

That’s about 130 large shipping containers that need to be closely inspected by eagle-eyed DOA Plant Quarantine inspectors.

The department says they’ve found nothing unusual in the shipments aside from the pests they would normally find — a few slugs, yellowjacket wasps, spiders and other insects.

The tree inspections require workers to open each container, and some trees are unwrapped and shaken. Any bugs hiding in the branches will fall to the ground to be further examined by workers.

This year, the Agriculture Department said a few officers from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection are assisting with the inspections.

Plant Quarantine inspectors look closely through Hawaii's Christmas Tree shipments in case any...
Plant Quarantine inspectors look closely through Hawaii's Christmas Tree shipments in case any pests hitched a ride to the islands.(Hawaii Dept. of Agriculture.)

In all, 156 containers total are expected in Hawaii this holiday season. Last year, 154 were inspected, and 168 in 2019.

If you encounter an unwanted or invasive pest, you can call the statewide hotline at 643-PEST (808-643-7378). There is a pest reporting mobile app also available. Click here for more info.

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