Summer summary: everyone on the lookout for BMSB

17 May 2018

Every New Zealander has a role to play in managing the risk of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).

KVH co-funded a nationwide summer BMSB education campaign with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and other horticultural sectors to lift public awareness around the damaging impacts of the pest and increase the likelihood of early detection through surveillance.

The results of the summer campaign are in:

• There were 931 calls to the MPI biosecurity hotline (more than double last year).
• Website ads generated the most calls to the hotline.
• There were over 6.5 million views of our online ads.
• The Metservice weather app ad was by far the most viewed of all our ads.
• Just over 30,500 visitors to the BMSB page on the MPI website (12500 more than last year).
• Ruud ‘the Bug Man’ Kleinpaste posts and videos were the most effective social media tools.
• There was a lot of news media interest in BMSB, especially around the turned away ships in Auckland and the Samurai Wasp as a biocontrol. The morning after a KVH story about BMSB aired on the One News 6pm show in late August, MPI received 15 calls about suspect bugs from people who had seen the clip.

Partnerships were also a big focus of the campaign. KVH worked across the kiwifruit industry to talk about BMSB and distribute information. Some initiatives were:

• New posters, fliers and stickers distributed to packhouses, transitional facilities, and vehicle importers.
• Information sent to all members of NZ Plant Producers Inc, including nurseries and Mitre 10 stores.
• Posters and leaflets distributed through PGG Wrightson and Fruitfed suppliers.
• Hospitality NZ helped communicate the BMSB threat through their newsletters and social media.
• Allied Pickfords transport put messages on trucks and in warehouses/depots.
• The Port of Tauranga Biosecurity Excellence partnership focussed on BMSB during the local biosecurity week with staff who work on and around the port.