Businesses and residents in the Jandakot area are asked to keep an eye out for brown marmorated stink bug following detection of the pest at a warehouse in the area.
WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development A/Chief Plant Biosecurity Officer Sonya Broughton said the bugs were found in imported cargo.
She said businesses handling imported goods, particularly from Italy and the United States, should be on the lookout for brown marmorated stink bug which posed a risk to agricultural crops.
Fumigation of the warehouse has been carried out by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Dr Broughton said the WA department had commenced surveillance in the surrounding area using specialised traps and lures.
“Brown marmorated stink bug is a pest that affects many plants, including sweet corn, tree nuts and fruits, such as apples, peaches, figs, mulberries, citrus and persimmons,” Dr Broughton said.
“Anyone finding this pest (dead or alive) while unpacking imported goods, should secure the package, not move it and report it quickly to the national hotline on 1800 798 636.”
Brown marmorated stink bug is native to eastern Asia (China, Japan and Taiwan) but was introduced to North America in the mid-1990s and more recently to Europe.
It is not established in Australia. 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.
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.
“Adult stink bugs are about 12-17mm long, usually mottled brown in colour and have a shield-shaped appearance,” Dr Broughton said.
“It produces a foul smelling odour when disturbed. Nymphs are orange and black when they first hatch. However, they can be easily confused with a number of other brown stink bugs present in Australia.”
Residents and home gardeners can report any unusual detections using the department’s MyPestGuide Reporter app, available to download for free from the Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store. Alternatively they can contact the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080.
More information is available online.
Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937