Brown marmorated stink bug
Updated: 11 February 2019
Brown marmorated stink bug has been found in Clayton, Dandenong South and Port Melbourne this summer.
The detection in Clayton in December 2018 was the first time this exotic pest has been found post-border in Victoria.
Agriculture Victoria is responding to multiple brown marmorated stink bug detections in Melbourne, including a detection in a Dandenong South wholesaler warehouse where confirmed BMSBs had hitchhiked on imported terracotta pots. Targeted surveillance is being conducted around Clayton, Dandenong South, Port Melbourne and surrounding suburbs to search for this nuisance pest, with the aim of preventing further spread as it can have a significant impact on agricultural industries. A community awareness campaign is also underway near the detection points to raise awareness of the detection and encourage residents and businesses to report suspected detections, which will support response activities.
If you find this pest, or other unusual pest or disease, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or email photos of the suspected pest and damage, along with your contact details and the pest's location to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is brown marmorated stink bug?
Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is an agricultural and nuisance pest that shelters inside homes and buildings, vehicles, machinery and sheds, producing a very unpleasant odour when it’s disturbed or squashed – hence the term ‘stink bug’. Originally from eastern Asia, this pest it is now widespread in North America and Europe.
Brown marmorated stink bug most likely entered Australia by hitch-hiking in shipping containers, machinery, vehicles and other imported goods.
How to identify brown marmorated stink bug
Adults are between 12-17mm long with a distinctive brown shield-shaped body (Fig.1). The shield colour varies but is generally mottled with a reddish tinge. Brown marmorated stink bug has distinctive banding on its antennae and the outer edge of its body. This banding helps to distinguish it from other native Australian stink bugs.
First stage (just-hatched) juveniles have a dark head and shoulders and a red and orange abdomen that features dark stripes (Fig. 3). Older juveniles are darker and begin to display the banding pattern on the legs and antennae (Fig. 2). All nymphs are wingless and cannot fly. Eggs are white to light green colour and are laid in clusters of 25-30 on the underside of leaves (Fig. 3).
Where should I look for it?
Look for brown marmorated stink bug around your home, work building, vehicles, machinery, shed, gardens and properties – especially if you have fruit trees. This pest feeds on a wide range of fruit and vegetables, as well as ornamental trees and weeds.
What crops are at risk?
Brown marmorated stink bug is a high priority agricultural pest that feed on over 300 hosts, including apples and pears, peaches, cherries, berries, grapes, grains, sweetcorn, tomatoes, tree nuts and truffles. It also attacks some ornamental and weed plant species.
Why is it a problem?
Brown marmorated stink bug feeds on more than 300 types of fruit, ornamental trees and vegetable crops causing significant damage, including important agricultural crops to Australia and backyard gardens. The bug is not a risk to human health but it is regarded as a nuisance pest because it seeks sheltered places to overwinter such as inside homes, vehicles, machinery or sheds, often in large numbers. If it became established in Victoria, crop losses can result from production losses and reduced fruit quality. Further, control of brown marmorated stink bug may significantly increase the cost of production.
What to do if you suspect brown marmorated stink bug
If you find a brown marmorated sting bug, or other unusual pest or disease, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
Calls within Victoria will be answered by Agriculture Victoria staff. Alternatively, you can email photos of the suspected pest and damage, along with your contact details and the pest's location to email@example.com.
Your report will be responded to by an experienced staff member, who will seek information about the detection and explain next steps, which may include a site visit and sampling to confirm the pest or disease.
- Brown marmorated stink bug community alert factsheet (PDF - 239.6 KB)
- Brown marmorated stink bug FAQs for industry (PDF - 273.4 KB)
- Brown marmorated stink bug FAQs for industry (WORD - 225.7 KB)
- Brown marmorated stink bug FAQs for nursery and garden supplies industry (PDF - 276.9 KB)
- Brown marmorated stink bug FAQs for nursery and garden supplies industry (WORD - 226.3 KB)
- Plant Health Australia
- Department of Agriculture Water Resources: seasonal measures