Growers and winemakers warned of stink bugs

BMSB egg mass, left, photo by David Lance. Middle photo is a nymph, photo by Gary Bernon, Bugwood.org. An adult is pictured on the right, photo by Mohammed El Damir, Bugwood.org.

BMSB egg mass, left, photo by David Lance. Middle photo is a nymph, photo by Gary Bernon, Bugwood.org. An adult is pictured on the right, photo by Mohammed El Damir, Bugwood.org.

Growers and winemakers have been warned about a detection of the exotic pest brown marmorated stink bugs which were found in in shipments of electrical components and bricks that had been imported from Italy.

The detections of dead and live bugs were reported in Perth and Horsley Park, NSW.

The federal and state biosecurity agencies are working together to manage the incidents, using well established response arrangements and processes including chemical treatment and surveillance.

Impact in vineyards and wineries

Low numbers of BMSB (three per bunch) may result in physical damage to berries which predisposes them to bunch rots and yield loss.

BMSBs have a foul-smelling odour when disturbed.

BMSBs are known to cause wine taint if they end up in ferments.

Identifying BMSB

BMSB is one of many nuisance stink bugs and is easily confused with other stink bugs, some of which are present in Australia.

The appearance of BMSB changes through its life cycle. Adult BMSBs are characterised by a 12-17 milliliter mottle brown coloured, shield-shaped body (see photos above).

A collection of nymph and adult BMSBs on a leaf, pictured left, and feeding damage on fruit caused by BMSB (right) (photos: Gary Bernon, Bugwood.org).

A collection of nymph and adult BMSBs on a leaf, pictured left, and feeding damage on fruit caused by BMSB (right) (photos: Gary Bernon, Bugwood.org).

Biosecurity awareness and reporting

Importers

If growers or winemakers transport or receive goods from overseas, they should always keep an eye out for pests and other biosecurity risks.

Pests stow away in shipping containers, on machinery, and inside cartons and packaging, including timber pallets. 

If any type of live pest is seen while unpacking or moving goods:

Collect and contain a specimen

Re-seal any opened boxes, re-pack the container where possible, and shut the container doors

Don’t move the container, especially to an outside area

Report it quickly to the See. Secure. Report. hotline on 1800 798 636 for assistance.

Vineyards and wineries

If growers or winemakers think they have seen BMSB (or any other exotic pest) in the vineyard or winery they should phone the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

For further information about wine industry biosecurity arrangements, please contact Andrew Weeks, CEO Australian Vignerons on 0403 520 242.

For technical information about brown marmorated stink bug, please contact the AWRI helpdesk on 08 8313 6600.

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