There has been a detection of the exotic pest, brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), in Glendenning, Western Sydney. Warehouse staff unpacking a consignment imported from Italy discovered live stinkbugs on timber pallets and boxes, and alerted biosecurity officers. The goods were sprayed and shrink-wrapped before being moved to a container. Bug specimens were taken to Sydney laboratories where an entomologist identified them as brown marmorated stink bug.
The infested container and the warehouse have been fumigated, traps have been set and the premise has been searched for specimens. In all, a total of 38 stinkbugs were detected. Biosecurity officers will undertake a weekly fog and inspection of the premise for a minimum of three weeks after the detection and further delimiting activities will include tracing of similar consignments, additional trapping, and surveillance.
The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) met in response to this incident and will continue to meet to determine whether or not it is technically feasible to eradicate. The committee will provide its recommendations to the National Biosecurity Management Group for decision
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a significant threat to agriculture due to its wide host range and the damage it can do to vegetable crops and fruit and ornamental trees. BMSB is known to feed on more than 300 hosts, including agricultural crops such as nuts, grains, berries, cotton, citrus, soybean and some ornamental and weed plant species. While feeding, the bug’s saliva causes significant damage to plant tissues.
BSMB does not pose a risk to human health but it is regarded as a nuisance pest because it seeks sheltered places to overwinter such as inside homes, vehicles, machinery or sheds, often in large numbers.