The brown marmorated stink bug is a voracious feeder that damages vegetable, fruit and ornamental trees after hitchhiking on imported goods. This week, Australia has added four countries to its target risk list for a bug with the potential to decimate the $12 billion horticulture industry. There are more than 35 nations on Australia's high risk list.
Australia has listed Ukraine, Portugal, Moldova and Kazakhstan as target risk countries, sparking more random checks on goods arriving from those locations. Belarus, Denmark, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom and Chile have been identified as emerging risks.
Perthnow.com.au quoted Agriculture Department's head of biosecurity Andrew Tongue as saying the bug was rapidly expanding across Europe and North America: "Measures will again apply to certain goods manufactured in, or shipped from, target risk countries. They will also apply to vessels that berth at, load or tranship from target risk countries."
The stink bug season runs from September to April, with heightened biosecurity measures in place throughout that period.