Latest BMSB finds
There have been more than 1500 Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) found at the border since the start of the high-risk season in September.
More detail can be read in the February KVH risk update, which includes latest data reported by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and information about activities involving KVH to make sure that everything possible is being done to manage the threat posed by this unwanted pest.
Throughout February and March there have been several media reports regarding car ships from Japan containing significant numbers of stink bugs – BMSB and Yellow Spotted Stink Bug (YSSB). KVH has been strongly promoting the need to treat vehicles offshore so we don’t have this problem.
Our best chance at keeping New Zealand free of these pests, if they get past the border, is to detect any incursions early and that’s where the public play a vital role. KVH has been busy ensuring not only growers are aware of these pests, but also those most likely to encounter them and within the last fortnight we have distributed information about stink bugs to the vehicle import industry and visited larger local importers in person to discuss what to be on the lookout for and the serious impacts on the New Zealand economy should these bugs establish here. We’ve also visited local Transitional Facilities and sent posters, magnets and fact sheets to backpackers and hostels that host international visitors/seasonal workers for the kiwifruit industry.
Fact sheets about the brown and yellow stink bugs are available on the KVH website, along with videos about the impacts they have on not just orchards but also homes and lifestyles.
The New Yorker magazine also published a great feature article this week on the impacts BMSB is having on homes in the USA. Here's a teaser:
One October night a few years back, Pam Stone was downstairs watching television with her partner, Paul Zimmerman, when it struck her that their house was unusually cold. Stone and Zimmerman live just outside Landrum, South Carolina, in an A-frame cabin; upstairs in their bedroom, French doors lead out to a raised deck. That week, autumn had finally descended on the Carolinas, killing off the mosquitoes and sending nighttime temperatures plummeting, and the previous evening the couple had opened those doors a crack to take advantage of the cool air. Now, sitting in front of the TV, Stone suddenly realized that she’d left them open and went up to close them.
Zimmerman was still downstairs when he heard her scream. He sprinted up to join her, and the two of them stood in the doorway, aghast. Their bedroom walls were crawling with insects—not dozens of them but hundreds upon hundreds. Stone knew what they were, because she’d seen a few around the house earlier that year and eventually posted a picture of one on Facebook and asked what it was. That’s a stinkbug, a chorus of people had told her—specifically, a brown marmorated stinkbug. Huh, Stone had thought at the time. Never heard of them. Now they were covering every visible surface of her bedroom.
“It was like a horror movie,” Stone recalled.
Read the full-length article ‘When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home’.
The risk period for BMSB stretches out for a few weeks yet so remember to be on the lookout and report anything unusual.