(Feb. 20) Ten of 11 loads of Mexican avocados rejected by California inspectors because they were thought to contain invasive pests instead contained pests native to California.

A California Department of Food and Agriculture entomologist, in a second test of the rejected loads, discovered the error Feb. 17 or Feb. 18, department spokesman Steve Lyle said Feb. 20.

Initially, the department reported that 11 of the 44 loads of Mexican avocados shipped to California since Feb. 1 contained live scale insects not native to California. Even though those pests are not on the list of insects banned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the 11 loads were either fumigated or shipped back out of California, according to the California Avocado Commission, Irvine.

The second test, however, revealed that the pests were instead a scale insect native to California, and one that does not pose a significant phytosanitary risk, Lyle said.

“We regret the error, but point out that the error was made on the side of caution,” he said.

Feb. 1 marked the first time Mexican avocados were allowed entry to California markets in more than eight decades.