Queensland wants action taken to deal with stink bug

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 26, 2019

Australia‘s Queensland government is calling for national action after brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) were initially detected, post quarantine, on a variety of imported cargo including machinery imported from China.

Biosecurity Queensland officers worked in close partnership with staff from the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to respond to the threat, with insecticide being applied to fruiting vegetation at each site and large insect traps set.

There have been other detections made at the border over recent months, with quarantine officers detecting and eradicating the bugs in 25 different consignments destined for Brisbane.

The Minister for Agricultural Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner, is alarmed at the increasing number of detections not only in Brisbane but in other Australian ports as well. He said it would be a calamity if the invasive BMSB ever gets established in Australia.

“As a matter of urgency, I have asked the Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and my other state counterparts to discuss a national preparedness strategy for dealing with this pest.

“Some interceptions involve entire ships with hundreds of vehicles and many hundreds or possibly thousands of BMSB throughout the holds. Some of these large infestations generated multiple quarantine management actions as the infested ships brought cargo to several ports around Australia.”

For the past three months biosecurity officers have maintained a surveillance and trapping operation at Lytton, Fisherman Islands and New Chum at Ipswich after the bugs were discovered there in what are believed to be three separate incidents.

Last week the emergency programme was lifted and response operations concluded. Biosecurity officers reported the three sites are now stink bug free.

Furner said the number of border and post-border detections is increasing each year, as the pest becomes widely established around the world.

“It is likely we may have to mount a significant emergency response to the pest in future. Therefore, it‘s imperative we step up our efforts and update our plans forthwith to keep these destructive bugs out,” Furner said.

“If they ever got a foothold here, eradicating them will be challenging indeed. They have a wide host range, are strong flyers, are not strongly lure responsive and will seek shelter in winter months. It‘s vital we step up our prevention and eradication preparedness and protect our borders.”