Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is one of the biggest biosecurity threats to the horticulture industry. If it were to establish in New Zealand there would be massive disruption to the movement of plants resulting in massive financial costs to plant producers.
BMSB is native to Asia but has spread to other parts of the world, including North America and Europe in recent years. Its population is increasing in these countries and the effects of the pest have been devastating in those regions.
New Zealand has managed to keep BMSB out, despite the increasing number of finds at the border in recent months. Over 1500 BMSB have been found this year in cargo ships travelling here with vehicles and equipment from countries where BMSB is established. Most of the interceptions have been of dead bugs, but many have been live with the potential to survive and establish a population here.
NZPPI is part of the BMSB Council, along with other horticulture industries and MPI. This group is working on a strategy to detect and eradicate BMSB if it is found here.
BMSB Report Highlights Devastating Impacts
An economic report, released today, says if the brown marmorated stink bug establishes in New Zealand it would dramatically impact New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP) as well as export revenues from horticulture.
Prepared by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), Quantifying the economic impacts of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug incursion in New Zealand, shows GDP falling between $1.8 billion and $3.6 billion by 2038, and horticulture export value falling between $2 billion and $4.2 billion by 2038.
“A BMSB incursion would affect multiple sectors simultaneously,” Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says. “This is currently the number one pest threatening horticulture and we are fully supportive of action at the border to keep it out, including the recent moves to prevent ships contaminated with brown marmorated stink bugs from unloading their cargoes in Auckland.”
An incursion would reduce crop yields, increase costs, and lower the export value for exports. At the same time, it would impact on employment, wages, and result in a poorer standard of living, the report says.
NZ Winegrowers Biosecurity and Emergency Response Manager Dr Edwin Massey says the report confirms that brown marmorated stink bug is one of the wine industry’s highest threat biosecurity risks. “Working through the Government Industry Agreement, we are committed to working with the Crown and other industry groups to mitigate this risk as much as possible.”
The report was commissioned by the Samurai Wasp Steering group and funded by Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Winegrowers, Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), Vegetable Research and Innovation (VR&I), Ministry for Primary Industries, Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), New Zealand Apples & Pears, Summerfruit NZ, and New Zealand Avocado.
The steering group is looking at introduction of a biocontrol, the samurai wasp, to combat BMSB if it establishes in New Zealand.