Exotic pests like this Brown marmorated stink bug could destroy your crop and become a nuisance in your home and sheds. While there are strict import conditions in place to protect us from new pests and diseases, as a grower you should always be vigilant to signs of pests and disease in your crop.
If you think you have found something unusual, report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. Early detection and reporting provides the best chance of eradication and maintaining access to markets.
Here are some of the things you can do to protect your property: • Protect your property with on-farm biosecurity measures – learn how at farmbiosecurity.com.au. • Use clean seed and healthy plant stock. Always check before you import seed or plant material from overseas – agriculture.gov.au/import.
Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is a mottle brown coloured, shield shaped stink bug. It is a voracious feeder, affecting about 300 known plants including nuts, fruit, vegetables and ornamentals. Originally from eastern Asia, it was recently introduced to North America and Europe, where it is having a significant impact on agriculture and as a nuisance pest (due to its habit of overwintering in large numbers inside buildings). While feeding the bug’s saliva causes significant damage to plant tissues.
Brown marmorated stink bug adults are mediumlarge (12-17 mm long), mottle brown coloured, shield shaped stink bugs. There are five nymph stages that range from less than 3 mm to 12 mm long. The nymphs are orange and black when they first hatch but quickly develop a similar colouration to the adults. Eggs are cream to yellow-orange and approximately 1.6 mm long and laid in clusters on the underside of leaves.
The adults and larvae can be confused with a number of other brown coloured stinkbugs that are present in Australia. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has produced a field guide to assist in the identification of this pest. Click here to view the guide.
What should I look for?
The brown marmorated stink bug is spread as a hitchhiker on a range of commodities. It can arrive on plant material, cargo of all kinds, and recent detections have been in loads of bricks and electrical goods. Once in a country the adults are capable of flight allowing localised spread of the pest.
Where is it now?
Brown marmorated stink bug is native to eastern Asia (China, Japan and Taiwan) but was recently introduced to North America (first discovered in the mid-1990s) and to Europe (first reported in 2007), where it is rapidly becoming a serious pest.
You can protect your farm from brown marmorated stink bug by checking your property frequently for the presence of any new pests. Take care when opening packages from overseas. Make sure you are familiar with the symptoms of common pests so you can tell if you see something different.