Beware – September marks the start of Stink bug season
We have written several blog posts about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) and some of the devastating effects they have caused in various parts of the world. We’ve also highlighted how some countries – especially Australia and New Zealand – are placing precautionary risk measures on imported goods entering their ports.
These bugs are seasonal, and control measures are heightened during critical times of the year namely during the period 1 September to 30 April where goods entering the ports in Australia and New Zealand must be inspected and strict protocols adhered to. 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 the economy of a country.
A connected world:
As our world becomes increasingly connected and we see an exponential increase in passenger and cargo volumes, it stands to reason that bio security 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.
New Zealand and Australia specifically are doing everything possible to prevent the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug from entering their countries and have set bio security rules in place especially pertaining to imports. A strict message has been delivered to shippers, agents, and importers that cargo from target risk countries must follow strict bio security 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.
Some of the vessels we see passing our South African shores include roll-on roll-off carriers transporting luxury vehicle brands and earth moving equipment from Europe and China to New Zealand and Australia.
At Rentokil, our teams have been successful in assisting with eradicating infestations of these insects ensuring cargo can safely be discharged at its destination. We have also carried out various other insect inspections including Asian Gypsy Moth. 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 bio security 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, under carriages, and behind mud flaps, etc
and once established or infested a product can have huge cost incurring consequences.
Rentokil can provide expert services to treat your commodities, containers and shipping vessels for Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, Asian gypsy moth and various other invasive and stored product insects when they dock in South African ports, all according to SA Quarantine and Inspection Services specification.