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12 February, 2020 Industry News

Samurai Wasp vs. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The INC organized the seminar STINK BUGS: A Potential Threat for Turkish and Mediterranean Countries Agriculture in Istanbul, Turkey, at the Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel, from January 28-29, 2020, in partnership with Ferrero Farming Values and with the support of Ondokuz Mayıs University.

The event focused on the latest developments and research into stink bugs, especially Halyomorpha halys (Stål), also known as Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), and the importance of orchards protection: measures of control and defense. An international group of leading experts, whose work focuses on monitoring and finding a solution to the stink bugs, gave an update about the situation in the hazelnut and fresh fruit sectors, in Turkey and Italy in particular. The event was attended by about 150 participants from France, Georgia, Italy, Luxemburg, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, from different sectors, from Government authorities and universities to associations of exporters and private companies.
The opening of the seminar was officiated by Mr. Pino Calcagni, Chairman of the Sustainability, Scientific and Government Affairs Committee of the INC, with the participation of Mr. Suat Kaymak, Head of the Plant Health Research Department, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey, Mr. Bamsi Akin, General Manager of Ferrero Fındık, and Mr. Edip Sevinç, Chairman of the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters Association and the Hazelnut Sector Council.
Prof. Dr. Celal Tuncer from Ondokuz Mayıs University, Turkey, urged to take prompt action against BMSB infestation and recommended the import of the Trissolcus japonicus, a.k.a. Samurai wasp (native to China, Japan and Korea) for the control of this invasive species.
Prof. Dr. Luciana Tavella from the University of Torino, Italy, talked about stink bugs management in the North West of Italy. Compared with native bugs, BMSB injury has similar symptoms but in significantly higher amounts. The most effective insecticides are bifenthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, chlorpyrifos-methyl, etofenprox and acetamiprid. But only few of them are authorized on hazelnut in Italy. Insecticides have a knock-down action but short persistence and can have negative consequences on the ecosystem, as well as undesired side effects on natural predators and secondary pests.
Dr. Nikoloz Meskhi, Head of the Plant Protection Department of the National Food Agency of Georgia, spoke about the damage caused to various agricultural crops (hazelnut, corn, vegetables, etc.) in Georgia. The estimated loss in hazelnut production alone is about $50 million.
Prof. Lara Maistrello from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, talked about climate suitability, current distribution worldwide, overwintering sites, spatio-temporal patterns of the invasion in the North of Italy, genetic analyses, types of damage, behavior, surveys on native natural antagonists, and challenges in the monitoring and control of this pest.
Mr. Federico Passarelli from the Italian Fresh Produce Service Center (CSO) reported on the economic impact of BMSB on fruit production, namely pear, peach, apple and kiwi fruit, in the North of Italy, estimated at €588.4 million only in 2019.
Dr. Tim Haye from CABI, Switzerland, presented the outcomes of several surveys for BMSB eggs parasitoids. The Trissolcus japonicus, native to China, Japan and Korea, seems to be the most effective egg parasitoid of BMSB. Regardless of its common name, Samurai wasp, it does not attack natural predators (like ladybirds or lacewings) and does not pose a risk for human health or honey bees. The Samurai wasp was found in the US in 2014 and in Switzerland in 2017. In New Zealand, it has been approved for biocontrol even before BMSB has been found in the country. In the North of Italy, T. japonicus arrived in 2018, and the Italian government is currently evaluating the release of artificially reared insects in 2020.
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