We have previously blogged about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) and highlighted the risk and special precautions some countries are placing on imported goods entering their countries.
Stink bugs are a seasonal issue, so control measures are heightened during certain times of the year. 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.
This tiny insect has managed to travel great distances from East Asia and has established itself in various countries. In the US 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 this past season.
As our world becomes increasingly connected and we see an exponential increase in passenger and cargo volumes, it stands to reason that biosecurity measures are becoming more critical.
Biosecurity for imports:
New Zealand and Australia specifically are doing everything possible to prevent the BMSB from entering their countries and have set biosecurity rules in place especially pertaining to imports. A strict message has been delivered to shippers, agents, and importers that imported cargo must meet strict principles that are intended to keep brown marmorated stink bugs out of their countries.
"The importing industry needs to be aware that high-risk cargo that hasn't been treated before arrival will not be allowed to come ashore in most instances," says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Paul Hallett. New import rules have been put in place where “off-shore treatment of imported vehicles, machinery, and parts from 33 identified risk countries, and all sea containers from Italy during the stink bug season.”
"The aim is to keep out a highly invasive pest that could devastate New Zealand's horticulture industry if it establishes here." This task is becoming increasingly challenging with these super pests slowly invading more and more countries.
Some of the high-risk 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. 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.
This little insect, the BMSB, has already caused huge damage in the US and Canada and the StopBMSB campaign website has reports that the BMSB “has been detected in 44 states and 4 Canadian provinces, posing severe agricultural problems in 9 states and nuisance problems in 23 others.”
Biological control trials are underway in various US countries to introduce the Samurai wasp which is a natural predator of the BMSB egg. Although the problem may not be eradicated completely, there would be a marked reduction in infestations and risk to the horticultural sector.
Another trial to reduce the BMSB populations and pesticide usage is an invention called the “Nazgul” which uses an aggregated pheromone, and traps all adult and nymph BMSB.
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, but once established or infested a product, can have huge cost incurring consequences.
Just recently a beetle infestation was detected on an imported container load of wicker baskets which Rentokil had to fumigate. If this had gone undetected and offloaded, these booklice could have caused serious damage to more than just one client.
Similarly, online purchasing is more popular than ever and invasive insects can easily hitchhike and establish themselves in non-native countries.
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, according to SA Quarantine and Inspection Services specification.
Contact us today to ensure that your cargo is not contaminated with invasive pests which could wreak untold devastation in another country.