Brown marmorated stink bug

We need your help to keep watch for the brown marmorated stink bug. This could attack a wide range of crops and infest homes.

Background

A brown marmorated stink bug.
The brown marmorated stink bug infests homes and ruins gardens. It stinks when crushed, and is almost impossible to get rid of. It could also hurt our fruit and vegetable industries.

The brown marmorated stink bug has spread from Asia to the United States and Europe. It isn’t established in New Zealand but it’s a sneaky pest that we’ve caught at the border many times. It hitchhikes on passengers and in imported goods.

If you see one, don't kill it. Catch it, take a photo, and call us on 0800 80 99 66.

Risk to New Zealand

These bugs could be a damaging pest as well as a household nuisance. They thrive in cool climates so are a threat right across New Zealand. If they get established here they are hard to kill, travel a long way, and breed quickly.

Crops and gardens could be devastated

Stink bugs feed on a wide range of plants. They could attack grapes, kiwifruit, apples, citrus, stone fruit, corn, and many other fruit and vegetable crops.

Homes could be infested

Over winter, stink bugs gather in large numbers in homes. They aren’t easy to kill with insecticides and when they're squashed they have a strong smell. Once a home is infested they are hard to remove.

What you can do

If brown marmorated stink bugs get into New Zealand, detecting them quickly will be essential. Early detection will give us the best chance of eradicating them before they can become established.

If you are travelling from Asia, North America, Chile, or Europe, check your luggage for brown marmorated stink bug. Stink bugs can hide in cracks and crevices so pay extra attention to these.

If you buy anything online or receive mail or parcels from overseas, check these for hitchhikers.

Check your luggage and mail indoors, not outside. This will make it easier to catch any stink bugs you might find.

If you think you’ve found a brown marmorated stink bug, catch it and call us immediately on 0800 80 99 66.

What does it look like?

Adults are about the size of a 10c coin and have:

  • white bands on the antennae
  • alternating black and white markings on the abdomen.

Stink bug eggs are light green and shaped like barrels. The eggs are usually in clusters of 20 to 30.

Brown marmorated stink bug on white background, with its characteristic features circled.
Brown marmorated stink bug, with its characteristic features circled.

 

Our fact sheet will help you identify the bug and tell the difference between it and local species.

Download the brown marmorated stink bug fact sheet [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Identify and compare similar-looking local species

Brown marmorated stink bug alongside similar insects and a 10 cent coin to illustrate their size. The brown marmorated stink bug is larger than the species which are currently present in New Zealand.

 

Help spread the word

Put these posters up in your workplace, and use these pictures on your social media.

Poster – Brown marmorated stink bug [PDF, 2.6 MB]

Poster – How to identify stink bugs [PDF, 2.7 MB]

Social media picture – Bug and coin

Social media picture – Identifying brown marmorated stink bug

Social media picture – New Zealand invaded by stink bug

What’s being done?

MPI has developed new import regulations to provide extra protection against this bug.

IHS requirements tool for vehicles, machinery, and parts

Ready to respond

Brown marmorated stink bugs spread fast, so we’ll need to act quickly to get rid of them if they arrive. That can only happen if we spot an invasion as soon as possible. MPI is encouraging all New Zealanders to be on the lookout.

MPI is running advertisements and distributing leaflets with pictures of the bug. These will help home gardeners and the wider public identify it. People should call our pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66 if they see anything like it.

 

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