BMSB is a regulated pest of great concern to NZ as it could have a significant impact on our agricultural and horticultural industries, and the NZ environment if it established. It is a major pest of agricultural and horticultural plants including a large number of major NZ domestic use and export crops where fruit and vegetable quality and quantity can be reduced significantly. It is also considered to be of nuisance value to people and their pets as it aggregates in human dwellings in winter and releases a noxious odour if disturbed. In addition, BMSB’s effect on NZ native plants is yet unknown but it could be considerable.
During the 2016/2017 risk period, MPI recorded 152 BMSB interception events associated with finds of both dead and live BMSB on new and used items. Usually MPI would not be concerned with dead BMSB but MPI Inspectors were unable to differentiate between those insects that may have been dead or live on reaching the NZ border as fumigation was also conducted immediately after arrival and would have killed any live specimens. Italy was found to be the origin of 57% of these interceptions, and of the 17 BMSB aggregations (larger groups of insects) that were found, 13 (76%) were of Italian origin. MPI are also aware that in areas with high BMSB populations, vehicles and machinery that are manufactured or stored there are highly infested. For example, one vehicle brand of Italian origin was found to be 50% infested with BMSB at the port of export. Therefore, BMSB has been identified as a significant pest that infests VMT items from Italy.
Management Measures for BMSB
The IHS has been modified to include targeted management of break-bulk and containerised vehicles, machinery and other equipment including tyres of Italian origin for BMSB during the Northern Hemisphere risk season (from the 1st of September to the 30th of April). These measures are as follows:
- Break-bulk items of Italian origin must be managed through an MPI-approved system. or
- Break-bulk items of Italian origin must be treated at the port of export to NZ. or
- Containerised items (including equipment, components and parts) must be treated at the port of export; or on arrival in NZ.
Treatment must be conducted from the 1st of September to the 30th of April and within 120 hours of departure from the port of export; or treatment for containerised items may be conducted within 24 hours of arrival at the place of first arrival in NZ. Fumigation and heat treatment specifications are as follows:
- Fumigation with Methyl bromide at 48 g/m3 for 24 hours at 10-15°C. or
- Fumigation with Methyl bromide at 40 g/m3 for 24 hours at 15-21°C. or
- Fumigation with Sulfuryl fluoride at 16g/m3 for 12 hours with a minimum dose reading of 8g/ m3 at a temperature of 10°C or greater to achieve a CT of 144 g.h/ m3. or
- Heat treatment at 60°C for 10 minutes for items weighing less than 3,000 kg. or
- Heat treatment at 60°C for 20 minutes for items weighing more than 3,000 kg.
MPI intends to further and fully revise the IHS by the 30th of April 2018 to include other technical modifications and will consult in full on this process. Once the IHS is revised, MPI also intends align all season and treatment requirements for break-bulk and containerised vehicles, machinery and equipment from all specified BMSB countries. MPI will engage with exporters, importers and National Plant Protection Organisations to appropriately advise them of planned changes to the IHS.
For more information, please contact:
Biosecurity and Environment Group:
Plants, Food and Environment Directorate
Regulation and Assurance Branch
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526 Wellington