Single BMSB detections

24 January 2019

Over the Christmas period there were two instances of single Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) discoveries post-border, highlighting how close to home the risk to our orchards, businesses, and lifestyles is.

A single male BMSB was found inside a Mt Maunganui house in mid-December and reported to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) biosecurity hotline. The area where it was found has been inspected and traps were set prior to Christmas. The traps have been checked multiple times and fortunately no more stink bugs have been found.

In early January, another BMSB was found in Glenfield, Auckland. As was the case in Mt Maunganui, it’s not known where the stink bug came from and MPI inquiries are continuing to try to determine a pathway. The area has been inspected, including with the use of the BMSB detector dog, and traps have been set to determine whether this was a single hitchhiker.

After both detections MPI officials have visited and inspected local transitional facilities, undertaken maildrops to homes in the area to raise awareness of the risk, and KVH and other horticultural industry groups have worked together to do more advertising about the importance of being on the lookout (and reporting) for these unwanted bugs.

To date there is no evidence of an established BMSB population, or that the two detections are related to each other. The summer months are the peak season for BMSB interceptions in New Zealand and we continue to see a high number of these at our border from Northern Hemisphere countries.

Please keep a lookout for any BMSB. If you think you’ve seen this insect, catch it and call MPI on 0800 80 99 66. For more information:

· visit the BMSB page on the KVH website

· look at the BMSB fact sheet for images that help with identification of BMSB

· watch a short video about the damage BMSB can do.

Also, latest border interception information on BMSB has been published in the KVH risk update, showing that since the start of the high-risk season in September 2018 there have been 165 live BMSB finds (as at the time of the report being produced at the end of last week), most of which have been found in personal effects and goods originating in the USA, Italy and China.

KVH will keep growers updated with any new information about these detections as investigations continue. You can read more extensive details KVH released at the time of each detection online here.