BMSB UPDATE 45 - WA Biosecurity Alert May Update

Brown marmorated stink bug detection at Fremantle port

We are asking businesses and residents in North Fremantle to help with surveillance for Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), following detection of a single live BMSB in a trap at Fremantle Port. This serious pest is not established in Australia, and efforts need to be taken to ensure there are no further BMSB in the area, to prevent potential spread.

The trap is one of 14 that are part of BMSB surveillance activities being undertaken by the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR). The WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is working closely with DAWR to put in place swift and effective response measures.

The affected goods were fumigated and DPIRD has commenced a 12 week trapping program to determine whether the pest has spread. A total of 49 traps have been deployed with no further detections to date. A residual treatment has also been applied to a 100 metre buffer zone which includes buildings and vegetation.

BMSB needs to be kept out of Australia, as it causes major damage to fruit and vegetable crops and ornamental plants. It feeds on a wide range of more than 300 plant species and its saliva causes significant damage to plant tissues and to fruit and seed production, reducing both yield and marketability.

If present on fruits produced for juice extraction, such as grapes or citrus, the insect may taint the entire batch of juice with a bad taste and smell, making it unsuitable for sale. Once established in a cropping situation, effective control is difficult.

BMSB is not a risk to human health, but can be a nuisance, with up to thousands of bugs entering vehicles, homes and factories for shelter over winter. It has a foul smelling odour when crushed or disturbed. The bug's ability to hitchhike, fly and feed on a wide range of plant hosts enables it to spread rapidly when it is introduced to new areas.

Look and report - North Fremantle area

ANYONE living in this area should look out for BMSB and immediately report any suspect sightings to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development on 9368 3080. This includes port workers, local businesses and residents.