The risk to Australia
The exotic brown marmorated stink bug is not found in Australia and is a pest of considerable biosecurity concern to Australia’s agricultural industries. Juveniles and adults feed on, and can severely damage, fruit and vegetable crops. It is also a nuisance pest as adults enter vehicles, homes and factories in large numbers in autumn months, looking for places to shelter over winter.
Hitchhiker pests can arrive in Australia on cargo and containers and may be more common at particular times of the year. The brown marmorated stink bug is one such pest which originates from Asia and has spread to North America and Europe in recent decades.
What the brown marmorated stink bug looks like
Adult brown marmorated stink bugs are 12 to 17 millimetres long and mottled with a faint reddish tinge. While there are species of stink bugs in Australia that may look similar, adult brown marmorated stink bugs have distinctive black and white banding around the edge of the abdomen with white bands on the last two antennal segments.
- Brown marmorated stink bugs on leaves
- Top view of brown marmorated stink bug intercepted by the department in personal effects ex Korea (Oct 2005). Source: Ken Walker Museum Victoria
- The brown marmorated stink bug shown here is feeding on an apple on Aug. 29, 2012. USDA photo by Stephen Ausmus.
For more images of the brown marmorated stink bug please visit the Pest and Disease Image Library.
What to look for
Brown marmorated stink bugs can be found in large numbers seeking shelter from cold weather in crevices or protected areas of shipping containers, vehicles, boats, caravans, machinery and personal stored items.
When to look for them
Brown marmorated stink bugs are more frequently found on goods arriving in Australia between September and April, coinciding with late autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere.
What to do if you find any suspect brown marmorated stink bugs
SEE. SECURE. REPORT.
If you see this pest or any other pest that you think may have hitchhiked to Australia, contain it where possible and immediately report it to the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry on 1800 798 636.
For safety, consult a departmental entomologist before handling specimens.
DownloadGuide to the identification of brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, and other similar bugs (PDF 8.8 MB)
Guide to the identification of brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, and other similar bugs (DOCX 26.5 MB)
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