Beware – September is the start of stink bug season

As a seasonal hitchhiker pest, BMSB may arrive in Australia on/in containers.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) causes devastating effects in various parts of the world, and countries like Australia and New Zealand - are placing precautionary risk measures on imported goods entering their ports.

As a seasonal hitchhiker pest, BMSB may arrive in Australia on cargo and on/in containers. It can enter vehicles, homes, and factories in large numbers in autumn months, looking for places to shelter over winter.

It is more commonly found on goods arriving in Australia between September and May, coinciding with late autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere.

During this period, known as the BMSB risk season, imported cargo presents a significant biosecurity risk as a potential pathway to transport BMSB from foreign countries into Australia.

Therefore Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment has put strict controls in place during these months. The reason for these critical controls is that given half a chance, these tiny insects have the capacity to devastate crops and so, if not controlled, could significantly affect agriculture in Australia.

A connected world

As our world becomes increasingly connected and we see an exponential increase in cargo volumes, it stands to reason that biosecurity measures are becoming more and more critical. Similarly, online purchasing is more popular than ever before and invasive insects can easily hitchhike and establish themselves in non-native countries or even locally in your homes.

This tiny insect, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, has managed to travel great distances from East Asia and has established itself in various countries such as the US where it has emerged as a major pest of fruit and vegetable crops, and a nuisance to homeowners. Just recently in the news, Europe has also had its fair share of BMSB invasions and is trying to recover from record devastations.

Critical Controls

Australia and New Zealand specifically are doing everything possible to prevent the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug from entering both countries and have set strict biosecurity rules in place especially pertaining to imported cargo. A strict message has been delivered to shippers, agents, and importers that cargo from target risk countries must follow strict Biosecurity measures which are intended to keep Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs out. Additional countries of Portugal, Ukraine, and Moldova have been added to the target risk countries list for the 2020/2021 season.

At Rentokil, our Fumigation teams continue to be successful in assisting with eradicating infestations of these insects through our Fumigation services. We have also carried out various treatments on roll-on/roll-off vessels where the risk of BMSB remains.

Rentokil can also provide other insect treatments through our Fumigation and Pest Control services for other exotic pests. General pest control services for nuisance pests like cockroaches, bed bugs, and rodents for cabin areas and crew facilities can also be carried out on vessels reaching our shores.

Recommended Treatment for BMSB infestations on vehicles and machinery

In the download 'Guidance for Import Health Standards', the MPI New Zealand has approved certain kinds of treatment to manage various types of biosecurity contamination associated with vehicles, machinery, and motor parts. These include cleaning, fumigation, and heat treatments as suitable methods.

Stowaway insects like the BMSB, the AGM (Asian Gypsy Moth), PSHB (Shot hole borer), and various other types of insects can be hard to detect, as they establish themselves in inconspicuous spaces like wheel wells, spare tyres, undercarriages, and behind mud flaps, etc. And once established or infested a product can have huge cost incurring consequences.

Rentokil carries out fumigation in over 50 countries throughout the world giving our clients the expertise on a global scale. Rentokil can provide expert services to treat your commodities, containers, and shipping vessels for Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs and various other invasive exotic pests onshore in Australia and New Zealand.

Contact us today to ensure that your cargo is free from pests and can be discharged at its destination port.

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1st September 2020
Kathryn Birett
Own Time, Take Control

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