Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – Expert Q&A

Science Media Centre 6/3/2018

A number of car shipments were turned away at the border last month because they were infested with Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. The bug has spread across the globe from its original home in East Asia and is one of border security’s most wanted.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has over a hundred host plants and it is a pest of many vegetables, fruits and field crops. Ahead of any future issues surrounding the invasive pest, the SMC prepared a Q&A with biosecurity experts including Melanie Mark-Shadbolt & Dr Nick Waipara.

Te Tira Whakamātaki (TTW) has been trying to raise awareness of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug with Māori communities since late 2016. In April 2017 we released an information paper on the stinkbug which included information on the bug, the risks and one proposed solution.

TTW then discussed the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug with whānau, hapū and iwi at our 2017 regional hui, and has been keeping in regular contact with members of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug steering group as they prepare for a possible incursion. TTW will also work with whānau, hapū and iwi to develop responses, plans etc. should they be required or requested.

The potential effects of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug for Māori could be widespread aside from their potential disruption to the aiōpipi (calm) of the taiao (environment). Impacts on Māra Kai, Rongoā Māori, taonga species and the whole ecosystem will be broad and will upset the balance of nature. Additionally, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are known to be a household nuisance with large numbers hibernating in whare, this will be an issue not only for whānau but marae.

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