Bug hunting bonanza in Italy

28 June 2018

New video from Italy shows the impact of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) on kiwifruit and just how easy it is for big numbers of the bug to infest fruit and plants.

Professor Max Suckling from Plant and Food Research and the University of Auckland is working with local colleagues in Italy, where the BMSB is working its way through horticultural crops like kiwifruit, apples, pears, corn and other crops. His projects include gaining practical experience with traps and aggregation pheromone lures for surveillance and suppression, as well as further evaluation of the potential for the sterile insect technique to be used in the event of an incursion into New Zealand.

The research team at Fondazione Edmund Mach near Trento in the north of Italy are working on an exciting new lead against stink bugs. These bugs use low frequency sound to communicate with each other, which the team are trying to redirect and use against the bugs to disrupt mating, in a similar concept to how pheromone traps work for other pests.

As you can see in the video, which includes an interview with an expert from the local plant protection service, there is no shortage of adult and smaller bugs congregating, feeding and causing damage to fruit, leaves, and stems – a reminder of why we must continue to do all we can to keep this pest out.

Learn more about the BMSB on the KVH website.