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Stink bug interceptions

Stink bug interceptions

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09 May 24 Biosecurity News

Stink bug interceptions

The number of live stink bug interceptions increased this season, partly due to a cluster of 20 live Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) found on a vessel from the United States, (via Jamaica and Panama), and an increase in the bugs arriving with passengers.

This season (September 2023 – April 2024), 108 live bugs have been intercepted, more than double the previous season. There were markedly more interceptions of live bugs through the passenger pathway.

Biosecurity New Zealand notes in the latest Border Space newsletter that rugby fans returning home from last year’s Rugby World Cup in France are the most likely suspects for inadvertently bringing an uninvited guest. Along with the widely reported surge in bed bugs in France during the World Cup, there was also a rise in the number of BMSB across Europe.

The Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte which studies insect biology, said the weather conditions in the 2023 European summer helped boost the BMSB population. This boost in the population of BMSB then had a flow on effect to countries such as New Zealand as travellers returned home – particularly as traveller numbers have continued to increase post-COVID.

Cargo continues to be a significant pathway for BMSB, and shipping lines are doing their bit to reduce BMSB risk, including carrying out additional surveillance during transit. The threat posed by countries that have known BMSB populations continues to be closely monitored and changes made to import rules as required.

If you think you’ve found a BMSB – don't kill it. Catch it, take a photo and call KVH on 0800 665 825 or contact the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline on 0800 80 99 66.


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