As September and October roll around, it is time to be on the lookout for the exotic species known as the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). This species is native to Asia and has quickly spread to different parts of the world, including North America. Although it is not currently present in Australia, it could easily be transported here and could do serious damage to Australia’s agricultural industry. Being able to identify the brown marmorated stink bug and knowing who to report them to are important steps that will help keep them from becoming established here. At Radar Pest Control, we want to make sure your homes are pest-free, but we also want to help educate the public about important pest issues. 

 

Identification

In Australia, we have many native stink bugs. These native species do not cause as many problems as the BMSB. Identifying a potentially problematic stink bug may be difficult, but here are some important characteristics to look for. Brown marmorated stink bugs are shield shaped and mottled brown in color. They grow to be about 12-17 mm long. BMSB have distinct black and white banding around the outer edge of the abdomen and white bands on the last segments of the antennae. 

 

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

 

Brown marmorated stink bugs can be brought into the country through luggage, mail, shipping containers, machinery, vehicles, and more. September through April are the months of the year when the most vigilance is needed because that coincides with late autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere. It is during these times that BMSB will hide in cracks and crevices to find a place to overwinter. This can lead to unintentional transport into the country. 

 

Problems

Brown marmorated stink bugs are known to feed on and damage over 300 different agricultural plants including: apples, beans, grapes, peaches, pears, raspberries, figs, soybeans, tomatoes, and various ornamentals. They can also be a nuisance for home and business owners when they find their way into buildings. If a brown marmorated stink bug is disrupted or squished, it will release a pungent odor that can also be very unpleasant. 

Help keep Australia’s agricultural industry safe by understanding the dangers posed by BMSB and keeping an eye out for them. If you think you have spotted one of these invaders, notify the Queensland Exotic Plant Pest Hotline.

 

If you are in need of any pest control services, you can trust Radar Pest Control to get the job done right. We serve the great people of the Sunshine Coast and want to earn your business. For pest control Nambour, pest control Buderim, and everywhere in between, contact Radar Pest Control today.