Beetles are not the only invasive species transported by packaging

Beetles are not the only invasive species transported by packaging

mountainpinebeetldISPM 15 is a regulation pertaining to wood packaging that is used for international shipments.  ISPM 15 regulations were first established in 2002; over 100 countries have agreed to conform to this regulation via a treaty.   The regulation is aimed at preventing the transport of insects from a native country to another country via the wood packaging.   In the past, the Asian Longhorned beetle was brought over from China to the US.  This beetle has infested some of our forest and is killing trees.

ISPM 15 specifies the treatment of wood that can be used for international packaging.   The wood has to have a special stamp and only certified businesses can supply ISPM 15 material.    Since its adaption, many environmentalists believe that the incidence of invasive insects has dropped dramatically.

Insects (mainly beetles) are not the only species of concern.  A recent article (source) discusses the problem of invasive snails coming to the US in shipments from the Mediterranean.    These snails crawl onto wood pallets stored near weedy areas then hitchhike across the ocean by attaching themselves to the packaging container.

Once arriving in here they can be spread throughout the US via intermediate shipping channels.   The exact effect of this type of snail is not known, but invasive species are not desirable because they tend to disturb the natural environment that they are not native to.

The good news is that a promising method is being tested that appears to be 100% effective in eliminating the snails.  The treatment cycle is to draw a vacuum, then inject steam, bring the temperature to 56 C (133 F), and hold it for 30 minutes,” said Professor Emeritus Marshall White, co-inventor of the process. (source).

The prevention of invasive species is something that concerns every local department of natural resources.  Often, a non-native species that infests an environmental region does not have any natural enemies to control its spread.  This can often have disastrous ecological consequences to that region.

Packnet does not get involved in the transport of snails, however we are a certified supplier of ISPM 15 materials and we are licensed and audited by Timber Products inspection agency.  Packnet can help you ensure that your wood packaging materials are ISPM 15 compliant.  For more information see our ISPM 15 webpage, or call us at 952-944-9142

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