Stink bugs add to global supply-chain headaches

Shortages of raw materials, computer chips, labor and just about everything else have caused significant disruptions to the global supply chain since the height of the covid pandemic, but a new problem has crept up in Australia, and this time it’s one of overabundance. Of what, you ask? Stink bugs. Invasive, nasty stink bugs. 

The presence of brown marmorated stink bugs has delayed car imports into Australia by up to a month, ABC News reports, as importers work to fumigate containers where the bugs have been spotted. The aggressively invasive pests can lie dormant for months in the crevices of shipping containers and the goods they carry, making detection and elimination of the bugs all the more difficult. 

“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,” Australian Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment biosecurity boss Andrew Tongue told ABC Radio Brisbane.

Compounding the issue is the fact that the bugs have now taken hold worldwide, forcing ships even from ports where the bugs are not native to be subject to inspection, as they are often just as likely to harbor infestations. The bug’s habitat now includes the United States and countries throughout Asia and Europe. Australia is hoping to prevent a full-blown invasion.