The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Council has made an application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to release the Samurai wasp in the event of a BMSB incursion in New Zealand.
BMSB is one the biggest biosecurity threats facing New Zealand, and is frequently intercepted at our borders. It has the potential to cause significant economic damage to the horticulture industry, and would become a serious nuisance to home owners.
Overseas studies have shown the Samurai wasp can destroy over 70 percent of the eggs in a stink bug egg mass. The wasp does not sting people and is harmless to humans, but is a natural enemy of the stink bug. The female wasp lays her eggs inside stink bug eggs, killing the stink bug in the process.
Control options are very limited, with use of broad-spectrum chemicals being one of the only tools currently available. The samurai wasp presents a targeted and self-sustaining control tool that could be used, and provides growers with an option other than increasing insecticide sprays.
We encourage you to have your say. You can view the application and make a submission here.
For more information, see our Q&A information sheet here, or contact Richard Palmer.
Public submissions are now open until 5pm, 31 May 2018.
An article of interest, giving more depth to the issue and effects of BMSB, can be found in The New Yorker.