Environment: A Scourge of Alien Insects

Some nasty bugs from abroad are creeping through Customs

Inside Building 80, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's shabby concrete-and- tin inspection station on the outskirts of New York's John F. Kennedy + International Airport, a crate of bonsai trees en route from the Republic of China to Memphis has been pried open. In a nearby room rests a long cardboard box containing cut flowers from the Netherlands. Thousands of similar parcels pass through J.F.K. daily. On some holidays -- Mother's Day, for example -- one chartered plane may discharge 15,000 cartons of blooms and foliage. But the shipments sometimes hold more than flowers. They can be the hideaway for exotic...

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