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Samurai to slay stink bug - have your say
19 April 2018

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Council, which KVH is a member of, has made an application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for approval to release the Samurai Wasp as a biocontrol agent should an established population of BMSB be detected in New Zealand.

The EPA is currently seeking views from the public on the application. KVH is making a submission on behalf of the kiwifruit industry and we encourage growers to also have a say.

BMSB is one the biggest biosecurity threats facing New Zealand and is frequently intercepted at our borders. It has the potential to cause significant economic damage to the horticulture industry and to home owners.

Control options are very limited, with use of broad-spectrum chemicals being one of the only tools currently available. The Samurai Wasp presents a targeted and self-sustaining control tool that could be used and provides growers with an option other than increasing insecticide spray.

The wasp is a natural enemy of BMSB and it’s effective in suppressing populations by up to 80% as the female wasp lays her eggs inside stink bug eggs, killing the stink bug in the process. It’s tiny, the size of a pinhead and doesn’t sting or bite humans or animals.

Releasing the wasp during a BMSB incursion would significantly boost eradication efforts but even if eradication wasn’t successful, early release and establishment of wasp populations would still reduce the likelihood of large populations of BMSB developing.

Public submissions are open now and close at 5pm on Thursday 24 May 2018. You can make a submission via the EPA website here. As you prepare your submission you may wish to consider:

•    Providing a description of your business/industry.
•    Describing how BMSB has the potential to impact on your livelihood/business/industry (for example, growers overseas have experienced crop losses, aesthetic damage to fruit, management costs, a need to increase insecticide use, labour costs etc).
•    Describing how BMSB has the potential to impact on your lifestyle/family/home/garden (for example, people overseas have experienced infested homes and buildings, an unpleasant odour from the bugs etc).
•    Describing how BMSB has the potential to impact on your social/cultural/environmental values (for example, overseas BMSB feeds on native plants).
•    Including whether you feel that the Samurai Wasp will be a useful BMSB control tool in comparison to the other available tools and why (overseas the primary control methods include insecticide, trapping or exclusion netting).
•    Stating whether you wish for the EPA to approve or decline the application.

If you have any questions about the Samurai Wasp or the submission process contact KVH on 0800 665 825 or email us at info@kvh.org.nz.

More information about BMSB, latest border finds and other activities underway to manage the risk of it getting here is available on the KVH website including videos and articles about the horticultural and lifestyle impacts it has. 

Kiwifruit Vine Health

Suite 3, Level 1, Customhouse Building
314 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui
(entrance cnr Totara and Rata Street)
PO Box 4246, Mount Maunganui, 3149
New Zealand

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591

Email: info@kvh.org.nz