A Brazilian Wandering Spider found its way to the Falklands last week after hitching a ride from Uruguay among a bunch of bananas. These spiders are known to be aggressive and highly venomous, in fact in the 2010 Guinness World Records they were described as the most venomous spider in the world! The bananas were also the chosen method of transport for a Cuban cockroach, who not to be outdone by the exciting venomous spider, was a stunning bright green!
Imported fruit and vegetables often carry unwanted pests or diseases, and in the same week a number of quarantine pests were intercepted on produce such as leeks, beetroot and bananas. Although it is very rare to find something as exciting and potentially dangerous as the spider, Biosecurity regularly intercept quarantine pests before they can cause harm to our environment, economy or inhabitants.
It is not just fruit & veg which can carry hitchhikers to the Falklands. Recently several imported vehicles failed their biosecurity inspections. The vehicles had invasive weed seeds, excessive mud under their wheel arches (which could harbour insects, seeds or pathogens), living insects and one car was even fumigated for a flea infestation.
The biosecurity of the Falklands is incredibly important and something that effects us all. As earwigs have shown, once new bugs become established they can cause many problems and can be difficult and expensive to eradicate.