An invasion of the brown stink bug has hit New Zealand.
Over 100 of the stink bugs were found last week by Ministry of Primary Industries biosecurity staff in three car carriers. These ships arrived from Japan.
The pest has the ability to devastate New Zealand’s fruit, vegetable and wine industries. Experts believe the cost could be around $4 billion if the bug established itself in New Zealand.
Stink bugs are a sucking insect. They use their proboscis to pierce the host plant in order to feed. It can cause widespread damage to fruit and vegetable crops.
These insects are pretty harmless to humans.
They are called Stink Bugs as they produce an pungent odour that smells like coriander. The stink bug’s ability to emit an odour through holes in its abdomen is a defense mechanism meant to prevent it from being eaten by birds and lizards. However, simply handling the bug, injuring it, or attempting to move it can trigger it to release the odour.