How do they get in to NZ?
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has spread to the United States and Europe from Asia. It’s not established in New Zealand but it’s a sneaky pest that we’ve caught at the border many times, hitchhiking on passengers and in imported goods. So far we’ve managed to stop it settling here, but we need your help. They’re hard to see, hard to kill, travel far, and breed fast.
What do they look like?
The BMSB is most easily recognised by its large size, 14-17mm which is roughly the same size as a 10-cent coin and larger than other shield bugs found in New Zealand.
The distinctive characteristics of the BMSB are the double white bands on the antennae, and the marmorated pattern (cream and brown zig zag) on the abdomen.
Crops and gardens could be devastated
Known to feed heavily on a wide variety of plant species, stink bugs would attack grapes, kiwifruit, apples, citrus, stone fruit, corn, and many other valuable crops.
Homes could be infested
Over winter, bugs gather in large numbers in homes, where they’re an unsightly and smelly nuisance. They can’t be easily treated with insecticides and they emit a pungent odour which some say is similar to old socks, sweaty feet or even coriander when squashed, making them hard to remove.