Bugs causing a stink

These little guys are called Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, and they’re presence is not wanted here in Australia.

The Australian Department of Agriculture have recently issued a statement regarding shipments being imported from the United States port of Savannah.  It appears that there are a concerning amount of these bugs hitching a ride to Australia and New Zealand, causing major headaches in the attempt to manage the infestation.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an agricultural pest that can cause widespread damage to fruit and vegetable crops.  These insects are also the masters of home invasion, entering dwellings in autumn just to survive the colder winter months.  The smell that the stink bug produces has been described as a pungent odour that smells likes coriander. (Thankyou Wikipedia.)

With so many of these critters trying to call Australia home the Department of Agriculture has issued emergency measures for all shipments arriving into Australia.

These emergency measures apply for all containerised and break bulk vehicles (including boats), machinery, automotive parts, and containerised tyres sourced and shipped from the east coast ports of United States.

As part of these emergency measures, the following requirements apply to consignments arriving in Australia as of Monday, 23 February 2015:

  • Treated prior to shipping
  • Accompanied by a certification of efficacy of treatment containing full treatment details conforming to the Minimum Document Requirements Policy.
  • On-arrival inspection of high-risk consignments as determined by the department.

These mandatory requirements apply for the following consignments:

  • All break bulk vehicles (including boats), machinery, and automotive parts within 48 hours prior to loading and;
  • Containerised shipments of vehicles (including boats), machinery, automotive parts, and tyres within 24 hours prior to being containerised for shipping.

Acceptable pre-shipment treatments include:

  • Heat (60°C/140°F) for 30 minutes in the coldest location of the cargo
  •  Methyl bromide (32g/m3@21°C and above for 24 hours)
  • Sulfuryl fluoride (32g/m3@21°C and above for 24 hours or 40g/m3@16-21°C for 24 hours); or
  • Other alternative treatment as approved by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

There are currently interim measures in place from the 22 January 2015 until the 23rd Febuary 2015.  Head to the Australian Quarantine website for these details.

Pending the inspection outcomes, these emergency measures are expected to be in place until end-April 2015.

Image credit

Source credit: The Department of Agriculture and Lloyd’s List Australia