Stink bug season underway
The 2023/24 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) season has kicked off, with the return of seasonal biosecurity measures aimed at preventing the entry or establishment of one of our most unwanted threats.
Running 1 September – 30 April, the season covers the colder months of the northern hemisphere when BMSB hibernate, often finding their way into enclosed spaces in imported vehicles and other cargo.
Biosecurity New Zealand has reviewed the 2022/23 season, determining current import rules remain fit for purpose and no changes are currently required.
As with previous seasons, vehicles, machinery and parts from identified risk countries must undergo treatment or other approved measures before being shipped to New Zealand. The same requirements apply to sea containers arriving from Italy, which has a large established BMSB population.
There are also no changes to the 38 high-risk countries targeted for BMSB management. Australia recently added Uzbekistan to its list (after reports of a small breeding population), but New Zealand doesn’t receive any cargo from Uzbekistan so hasn’t taken the same step – for now at least.
As per previous seasons, quarantine staff will conduct a range of checks across entry pathways to make sure biosecurity requirements are being met.
Routine operations for this season include additional inspections of general cargo, including targeting around 5000 full containers for auditing; deck-by-deck surveillance of vessels with breakbulk (uncontainerised cargo); inspections of new vehicles and new machinery items; detector dog surveillance; and education for air passengers arriving on high-risk flights – particularly from the United States, Canada, and Japan.