Preparing for emerging pests and diseases that could affect New Zealand’s environment and economy is a key role for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
The Ministry has been keeping an eye on the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys or BMSB) for a number of years now and has stepped up its efforts to keep this pest out of New Zealand - or detect it early should it get here. This is in response to the insect emerging as a serious horticultural pest in the United States.
BMSB is native to Asia and has aggressively invaded the United States and has now been found in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France. At present it is regarded by the New Zealand horticulture industry as one of the top six pests of concern.
Good phytosanitary measures are the best way to prevent introductions, and early detection through surveillance is the key to eradication before the pest can become established.
MPI is trialling 50 traps in high-risk areas to determine the feasibility of integrating pheromone lures for BMSB into its existing trapping programmes. Border and transitional facilities have also been put on alert for BMSB.
BMSB has not been detected in New Zealand – to report any suspect sightings phone MPI on 0800 80 99 66 or KVH on 0800 665 825. If you’ve been overseas or received parcels/shipments from overseas, check your luggage or parcels indoors for insects.