Public enemy number one: the Brown marmorated stink bug

07 Mar 2017


This is the time of year that the brown marmorated stink bug is hitchhiking to New Zealand in luggage, packages, containers, machinery, vehicles, medical equipment, protein powder, roof tiles, and furniture. Even Barbie dolls aren't safe; you name it, it hitchhikes in it. 

Native to China, Japan and Korea, the stink bug has made its way to parts of the United States and Europe, causing severe crop losses, and it's from there that our invaders come. Horticulture New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries are doing our level best to keep it out of New Zealand.  But to do this, we need your help.

If BMSB becomes established in New Zealand, it will eat your vegetable garden and your fruit. It will invade your home, and make having a barbecue very unpleasant. It will make commercial vegetable and fruit growing extremely difficult. 

We ask that everyone be on the lookout for this bug – see below for its mugshot - and contact MPI if you see one.  More and more of these bugs are getting caught at New Zealand's borders, and we need all hands on deck to stop them. We especially ask that, if you’re an importer of any goods from Asia, Europe or America to make a special effort to  find it; it likes hiding out in dark places, so grab a torch and take a look.

We're still planning for the worst, just in case.  There is a little wasp, the Samurai wasp, that kills it by eating the bugs’ eggs.  It's not yet resident in New Zealand but, if it is approved, the Samurai is our number one hope for controlling it.  The horticulture industry is at present preparing an application to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval to introduce the Samurai should BMSB get established.  We are meeting all the required controls and precedents so as to ensure that the Samurai stays focused on the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.  We hope that this application will be successful so we can protect your garden, your backyard, your house and our commercial fruit and vegetable industries.

Our number one goal is to make sure it never gets here in the first place.

- Mike Chapman, CEO