Biosecurity New Zealand is stepping up its war on the brown marmorated stink bug. It has provisionally released new rules that will apply to this year's stink bug season, which starts on Sept. 1 and will run until April 30.
The brown marmorated stink bug has spread to the United States and Europe from Asia. It's not yet established in New Zealand but should it settle here it would potentially decimate grapes, kiwifruit, apples, citrus and stone fruit, corn and other valuable crops.
The New Zealand Institute for Economic Research estimated that within 10 years of its arrival, total horticultural export values - considering both volume and price impacts - could fall by between $1.4 billion and $3 billion, depending on the steps that are taken after it settles.
As reported on sharechat.co.nz, scores of stink bugs have been caught at the border, hitchhiking on passengers and in imported goods. Last year several cargo ships carrying vehicles were turn around following the discovery of stink bugs.