Valentine's flowers inspected for pests

February 9, 2010 1:10:01 PM PST
Federal agents are working to make sure you'll get clean, safe flowers on Valentine's Day. Two Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists examined hundreds of flowers at Bush Intercontinental Airport. The two specialists have training in entomology and examined imported flowers for pests and diseases before they went on sale for Valentine's Day. The pair examined roses that came mainly from Ecuador and Mexico.

"What we're looking here for is infestation," explained CBP Agriculture Specialist Stephen Morris. "We can't physically inspect every single flower that comes in, so we're looking for infested flowers, infested shipments that have significant plant pests."

The owners of any flowers found with pests have three options -- send flowers back to the country of origin, fumigate the flowers to kill insects or incinerate the flowers.