Samurai wasp a new weapon in stink bug battle

Rural Exchange 26/08/2018

Farmers are welcoming an additional weapon if an invasive stink bug reaches our shores.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week announced it will allow a controlled release of the samurai wasp if the brown marmorated stink bug ever made its way into New Zealand.

The stink bug has the potential to devastate New Zealand's fruit, vegetable and wine industries, and could put a multi-billion dollar hole in our economy.

Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokesperson Karen Williams says it is a 'scourge'.

"For arable and horticulture farmers, a scenario where a breeding population could get established here is a nightmare," she says.

Allan Pollard, chair of the brown marmorated stink bug council says he's happy with the announcement but believes there is a long way to go.

"The next step is to look at where we can source sufficient populations of the samurai wasp, and also the sort of permissions that we'll need to bring the wasp in if it's required."

Studies overseas have shown the samurai wasp can destroy over 70 percent of the eggs in a stink bug egg mass.

Watch the full interview with Allan Pollard above.

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