Recent pest detection
- The exotic pest brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) was recently detected in Western Sydney. Live bugs were found in electrical equipment that had been imported from Italy. Officers from the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture Water and Resources (DAWR) responded to the detection. The equipment and the container in which the bugs were found are under biosecurity control and will be chemically treated to eliminate the bugs.
- Surveillance is also being conducted near the warehouse and pesticide has been used around the warehouse as a precaution; however, no brown marmorated stink bugs have been detected outside of the affected property. The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) continues to meet in response to this incident. A response plan is currently being considered by the committee and will soon be provided to the National Management Group for endorsement.
- Photos and technical information about brown marmorated stink bug can be found in this Plant Health Australia fact sheet.
Impact in vineyards and wineries
- Low numbers of brown marmorated stink bug (three per bunch) may result in physical damage to berries which predisposes them to bunch rots and yield loss.
- Brown marmorated stink bugs are also known to cause wine taint if they end up in ferments.
Biosecurity awareness and reporting
- The brown marmorated stink bug is a pest that opportunistically uses cargo containers and freight vehicles to hitchhike across countries and overseas. The bug’s capability to hitchhike and fly, and feed on a wide range of plant hosts, enables it to rapidly spread into new territories.
- Anyone who receives imported goods should be vigilant in checking for pests which can be attached to containers, within the goods of the container or to other goods such as machinery. If any bugs or other pests are seen in a container, the contents should be left inside the container with the doors closed and the container should not be moved to another location. The DAWR See. Secure. Report. hotline on 1800 798 636 should be immediately contacted for assistance with managing the issue.
Vineyards / wineries
- If growers or winemakers think they have seen brown marmorated stink bugs (or any other exotic pest) in the vineyard or winery they should phone the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
- The most effective way to detect brown marmorated stink bugs is by visually inspecting host plants. They are large bugs that give off a strong and bad odour when disturbed. They can be confused with a number of other brown-coloured stinkbugs that are present in Australia. There is a comprehensive identification guide on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.
For further information about wine industry biosecurity arrangements, please contact Andrew Weeks, CEO Australian Vignerons on 0403 520 242.
For technical information about brown marmorated stink bug, please contact the AWRI helpdesk on 08 8313 6600.