THE 2021-22 brown marmorated stink bug season is upon us once again.

This time around the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has stricter measures in place to keep this scourge from our shores.

DAWE head of biosecurity Andrew Tongue said the 2021-22 BMSB risk season seasonal measures would apply to targeted goods manufactured in, or shipped from target risk countries. They also apply to vessels that berth at, load or tranship from target risk countries.

“BMSB would have a devastating impact on Australia’s agricultural crops and horticulture, if established here,” Mr Tongue said.

“It’s also a nuisance pest because it seeks shelter in large numbers, in buildings and equipment during the winter months. It has a foul-smelling odour when crushed or disturbed.”

Mr Tongue said these creatures opportunistically use cargo containers and freight vehicles to hitchhike across continents and oceans.

“The bug’s ability to hitchhike, fly, and to feed on a wide range of plant hosts, enables it to spread rapidly when it is introduced to new areas. It also has the ability to survive in cargo for long periods by remaining in a dormant state,” he said.

“Last year, 232 brown marmorated stink bug detections were made on vessels and goods arriving in Australia. That is why the department has implemented enhanced measures for certain goods shipped to Australia between 1 September 2021 and 30 April 2022.”

Mr Tongue said the department is targeting more exporting countries and high-risk goods than ever before this year. Poland has been added as a target risk country bringing the total number of target risk countries to 37.

“There will be heightened surveillance for cargo vessels and additional pre-arrival reporting for vessel operators, who will be required to undertake daily checks of their vessels and cargo for biosecurity risks,” he said.

“Certain high-risk goods may also require mandatory offshore treatment, but this must be undertaken by an approved offshore treatment provider that has registered with the department.”