BMSB expertise from Chile
Last Thursday KVH and New Zealand Avocado hosted a discussion about Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) with Ilania Astorga from Servicio Agricola y Ganadero, the Chilean equivalent of our Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Iliania was invited to New Zealand by the BMSB Council (a partnership between horticultural industry groups and MPI) and also presented at the two-day Better Border Biosecurity conference earlier in the week.
Attended by biosecurity experts, industry representatives and scientists from across the region, the discussion focused on where and when BMSB has been found since the bug was first detected in urban Santiago (the Chilean reponse is still confined to an urban environment). Initiatives currently underway to manage it, including survellaince and trapping activities were also discussed.
There was also a Q&A session during the presentation to learn more about the opportunities and challenges faced by the Chileans and how these can help shape New Zealands response plans.
For example, BMSB is capable of flying up to 100k a day but the Chilean experience is that the bugs don’t move much, or very far in distance, which may be due to the large number of preferred host trees in the city and the fact that bugs don’t need to travel far to get the food and nutrients needed.
This discussion with Ilania built on the learnings of an ‘NZ Inc’ group - including KVH - that visited Chile late last year to assist in the response. Read more about that trip here. This relationshop provides an excellent opportunity for New Zealand to learn from Chile’s experience and assist to mitigate the risk of entry to New Zealand, and refine our own response tools and strategies.