Heightened biosecurity measures set to protect Australia from Brown marmorated stink bug

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

The Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) poses a significant threat to the nursery industry, and tighter biosecurity measures must be taken to keep this pest out of Australia.

This exotic pest has high establishment potential in Australia, and could cause major damage to agricultural crops, nursery stock and ornamental plants, so keeping this pest out is a top priority.

Biosecurity agencies and departments are on high alert with peak BMSB season happening from 1 September 2019 through to 31 May 2020.

Past incidents of BMSB arriving at the Australian border have occurred during spring and summer, when climatic conditions and host availability in temperature regions are suitable to the pests feeding and development.

In response to the increased threat during these months, the Department of Agriculture has strengthened seasonal measures to manage the risk of BMSB arriving in Australia. The Department is working with the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP), of which NGIA is a party, to provide a platform where information can be shared, and emergency pest incursions managed.

The heightened biosecurity measures applied by the Department of Agriculture will apply to:

  • Certain goods manufactured in or shipped from target risk countries.
  • Vessels from target risk countries, that berth at, load or tranship in Australian territory until 31 May 2020.
  • Goods shipped between 1 September and 30 April must be treated and will be referred for intervention as required.
  • The 2019-20 BMSB risk season will apply to an increased range of target risk countries, rising from 10 to 33 countries.
  • The department will undertake a lower rate of random onshore inspections from identified emerging risk countries, due to the increased measures taken for mandatory treatment and onshore intervention.
  • Mandatory seasonal pest inspection of roll on roll off vessels from target risk countries.

Whilst the 2019-20 season has so far been free of BMSB detections, the Department of Agriculture, along with state and territory biosecurity agencies remain on high alert and will continue to inform the CCEPP of detections and actions as the season progresses.

NGIA is working to raise further awareness of the BMSB across industry to protect Australia from the incursion of this pest.

Information of the updated season measures can be found on the Department of Agriculture website, at: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/before/brown-marmorated-stink-bugs

For more information on Brown marmorated stink bug, please go to the Pest ID Tool (www.pestid.com.au) and/or look at the Contingency Plan at www.nurseryproductionfms.com.au

For further information contact National Biosecurity Manager John McDonald via email at john.mcdonald@ngia.com.au

Note that the Pest ID tool is now available with free access to industry. An initiative of the Nursery Levy funded National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004) and ‘Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery’ Project (NY15002)