Scientific name: Halyomorpha halys (Stål 1855)
Common name: Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB)
Native range: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan
Current invaded range: Canada, USA, Chile, 11 EU countries, Guam
Public Enemy #1
The Ministry for Primary Industries has recently classified BMSB as one of the top pests of most concern to New Zealand. BMSB is a highly destructive plant pest that has recently spread around the globe from it’s native range in East Asia. It has been detected at the NZ border with increasing frequency over the last decade, and some experts believe it is only a matter of time before it establishes here.
Why Is It So Bad?
BMSB possesses a combination of worrying attributes:
- It has the capacity to feed and lay eggs on on a wide range of host plants (over 100 so far, including important forestry and crop plants)
- It’s habit of seeking shelter over the winter means it often hides in freight and vehicles where it is difficult to detect
- It is highly mobile, and spreads especially fast through trade pathways
- It has up to two generations a year, produces a large number of eggs, and nymphs grow quickly
- It is a known vector of plant diseases
What Impacts has it had Overseas?
- In 2010 caused USD$37million in damage to the US apple crop alone (also significant damage to tomatoes, sweetcorn, peppers, peaches, etc)
- Individual bugs and defensive compounds taint finished wine batches
- Has disrupted hazelnut production in Georgia, one of the major global producers
- Severe nuisance problems for homeowners and small businesses due to aggregating behaviour
What would it mean for NZ?
- Likelyhood of establishment & spread considered to be ‘high’
- Economic impacts likely to be moderate to high, and social impacts moderate
- Apples, cherries, corn, grapes, peaches, pears, peas and persimmons most at risk
- Wine industry at risk: As few as 10 stink bugs in 12kg of grapes is enough to produce a detectable taint
- Presence of BMSB may mean reduced access to international markets for NZ exports
- Pesticide usage would likely disrupt other successful pest management strategies here
- Significant nuisance problems for homes and businesses
What Can We Do?
- Learn how to identify BMSB.
- Be vigilant for BMSB and immediately catch any suspected individuals and report to MPI (0800 80 99 66).
- Take extra care when travelling – check luggage and personal items
- Inspect imported goods, especially vehicles and machinery parts