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Samurai wasp EPA application – have your say

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Council has made an application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to release the Samurai wasp to help combat a BMSB incursion should one be found in New Zealand.

BMSB is one the biggest biosecurity threats facing New Zealand and is frequently intercepted at our borders. It has the potential to cause significant economic damage to the horticulture industry and to home owners due to its invasive nature.

Studies overseas have shown the Samurai wasp can destroy over 70% of the eggs in a stink bug egg mass. The wasp does not sting and is completely harmless to humans, but is a natural enemy of the stink bug. As can be seen in the image below, the female wasp lays her eggs inside stink bug eggs, killing the stink bug in the process. 

Samurai wasp with BMSB eggs

Control options are very limited, with use of broad-spectrum chemicals being one of the only tools currently available. The Samurai wasp presents a targeted and biological self-sustaining control tool that could be used, and provides growers with an option other than increasing insecticide sprays.

Summerfruit NZ along with other industry organisations participating in GIA, supports this application and encourages growers, marketers and exporters to make a submission supporting this initiative.

We encourage you to have your say. Public submissions are now open until 5pm on 24 May 2018.

Making a submission

If you’ve never made a submission before they can be rather daunting, so a template to help you prepare your own submission has been created here. We can’t tell you what to say, but this template provides guidelines on the things you need to address in a submission.

  • The formal aspects of the submission are filled out for you. This includes the application number and the email address to send your submission to.
  • There are two sections where you need to make a choice:
    • whether you want to keep your details confidential, and
    • whether you want to present at the panel hearing.

  Just delete the wording in these sections that doesn’t apply to you

  • You do need to add your own thoughts about the application to release the samurai wasp. These sections are highlighted in red. Your comments don’t need to be long – just a few sentences in each section is sufficient, though there are no limitations on the length of a submission so you can write as much as you like. Once you have completed your submission, just make sure to change all the red sections in the document to black.
  • Save a copy of your submission and email it to the address provided in the template no later than 5pm on 24 May.

We do not recommend everyone sending identical submissions to the panel, as this may devalue the impact of many submissions. That is why a template has been created for you to add your own thoughts. Do let us know if you have any questions.

Further information

Guidance on how to make a submission can be found on the EPA website here.

Download the Samurai wasp Q&A here.

Contact Summerfruit NZ's Biosecurity & Export Manager Juan Rosales at juan@summerfruitnz.co.nz

Read When twenty-six thousand stink bugs invade your home by Kathryn Schulz, published 12 March 2018, The New Yorker.

Read MPI's factsheet on BMSB.