NZ stopping Italian stink bugs at its sea ports

Thursday, 11 January, 2018

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In New Zealand the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has introduced new treatment requirements to stop brown marmorated stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) moving into New Zealand via sea containers from Italy.

Paul Hallett, MPI's biosecurity and environment manager, explained that MPI officers have been detecting increased numbers of the invasive pest in cargos from Italy and this has prompted the new requirement that all sea containers from Italy must be treated before or on arrival in New Zealand.

Italy accounted for nearly 50% of the stink bugs uncovered by MPI officers this season.

Previously, imported containers from Italy had been subject to auditing and inspection by biosecurity officers but did not require treatment unless they carried vehicles or machinery, or there was evidence of contamination. The treatment has now been mandated for all shipping containers from Italy. The treatment requirements will last until the end of February. They will be reviewed prior to the start of next season in September.

Brown marmorated stink bugs are a significant agricultural pest and household nuisance in the United States. They have recently established in Italy and appear to be spreading through Europe, causing losses for commercial growers.

Image credit: ©

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