A couple of stories from the British tabloids illustrate one of the challenges of preventing transport of exotic species.
The first report is of praying mantids found in a shipment of Christmas wreaths from Turkey by a florist. The mantids were mating and the female was in the act of devouring its partner. The local zoo collected the invader and named it ET (after the movie character).
The second report is about a woman who found a giant Egyptian grasshopper in a bag of salad greens. The local zoo confirmed that it was imported from Egypt and that it was a gravid female.
Fortunately, these species cannot survive in more Northern areas. The demand for fresh produce and live plants and shipping them by air is a recipe for moving insects from one area to another. We are conducting an experiment on a global scale by transporting species to new locations that previously were excluded because of natural barriers. Too often the results of this “experiment” is unhappy.