Businesses and residents in Spearwood and Bibra Lake are urged to keep a look out for a destructive pest, the brown marmorated stink bug, following a recent detection in the area.
A single bug has been found in a commercial area in Bibra Lake, near Stock Road, during routine trapping and surveillance by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).
Brown marmorated stink bug is an exotic pest that could cause major damage to agricultural crops, nursery stock and backyard plants.
While not established in Australia, it is known to stowaway in cargo coming out of the northern hemisphere between September and April each year. Strict import conditions are in place.
DPIRD chief plant biosecurity officer Sonya Broughton said the department was undertaking increased surveillance in the area, including additional specialised traps, to ensure the pest has not spread.
“Businesses in Bibra Lake and residents in Spearwood should remain vigilant for the pest and report anything unusual,” Dr Broughton said.
“The bug was collected in an area that handles imported goods and is adjacent to a residential area, so it is vital that both businesses and residents in the area report anything suspicious.”
Brown marmorated stink bug can be confused with a number of other brown-coloured stinkbugs that are present in Australia, except they are larger and have distinctive markings.
“Adults are about 12-17mm long, usually mottled brown in colour with has a shield-shaped appearance,” Dr Broughton said.
“It has distinctive black and white banding around the outer edge of the abdomen and white bands on its antennae.”
Brown marmorated stink bug is native to eastern Asia but was introduced to North America in the mid-1990s and more recently to Europe.
It is a nuisance as it seeks shelter in large numbers, in buildings and equipment during the winter months. It has a foul smelling odour when crushed or disturbed.
There are a number of reporting options.
Anyone finding this pest while unpacking imported goods, should secure the package, not move it and report it quickly to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ SEE. SECURE. REPORT. Hotline on 1800 798 636.
Residents can report any unusual detections using DPIRD’s MyPestGuideTM Reporter app or contact the Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080.
More information is available at agric.wa.gov.au.
Jodie Thomson/Katrina Bowers, media liaison, +61 (0)8 9368 3937