The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) (Halyomorpha halys) is an exotic pest that has the potential to cause major damage to agricultural crops, nursery stock and ornamental plants.
Known to feed on more than 300 hosts, including agricultural crops such as nuts, grains, berries, cotton, soybean, nursery stock and some ornamental and weed plant species, the bug’s saliva causes significant damage to plant tissues when feeding.
Risk to human health
While not regarded as a major risk to human health, they can cause an allergic reaction in some people who come into contact with them. However they are also regarded as a nuisance pest as they can enter vehicles, homes and factories in large numbers.
Detections in Australia
While there have been recent border detections in Victoria and Western Australia, to date there have been no detections of BMSB in South Australia. Across Australia between September and April each year, there is a heightened risk of the bugs 'hitchhiking' on cargo imported from the US and several European countries.
Protecting Australia from brown marmorated stinkbug
To ensure Australia is protected from BMSB, the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) conduct seasonal measures by targeting high-risk cargo such as motor vehicles and heavy machinery and cargo from high-risk countries including France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia and the USA.
PIRSA, through Biosecurity SA, works closely with DAWR to ensure that South Australia remains BSMB free with vigilance against the pest the best form of defence.
BMSB and other pests stow away inside or attached to the outside of shipping containers, and they can be found within the goods in the container, including boxes and packaging. They also seek shelter in vehicles and machinery. They have a foul smelling odour when disturbed.
How to identify the brown marmorated stinkbug
View the NSW Department of Primary Industries YouTube video below for more information about these stinkbugs. But remember to call the SA Exotic Pest Alert Hotline on 1800 798 636 if you see anything.
How to report sightings
If you detect anything unusual immediately contact the Exotic Pest Alert Hotline on 1800 798 636.