Most unwanted this month
Each month we profile one of the 12 most unwanted pests featured on our ‘Port of Tauranga – committed to biosecurity excellence’ calendar. They could all potentially enter our borders and have a major impact on the local community and businesses, the kiwifruit industry or other local growers.
This month, the focus is on the nun moth, not present in New Zealand and considered a serious pest to forestry industries across the world.
In countries where nun moth is established, the species undergoes outbreaks every few years causing significant damage to forests. Larvae feed on the foliage of a wide range of trees, causing defoliaton of leaves or needles. During outbreaks, complete defoliation of stands has been seen.
The nun moth is considered a serious biosecurity threat to New Zealand as it is a conifer-feeding specialist. It is also difficult to detect at the border as the females lay eggs deep within crevices on containers, pallets, and ships. If caught early it could be eradicated, however it would cause considerable growth loss if a population spread.
Everyone can play a part in keeping unwanted pests and diseases out of New Zealand. If you come across anything unusual, catch it, snap it, and report it to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 0800 80 99 66.