Samurai wasp a new weapon in stink bug battle

The news an additional weapon will be used if an invasive stink bug reaches our shores has been welcomed by farmers.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week announced it will allow a controlled release of the samurai wasp, if the brown marmorated stink bug makes its way into New Zealand.

The stink bug has the potential to devastate New Zealand's fruit, vegetable and wine industries, and could put a multi-billion dollar hole in our economy.

Federated Farmers Biosecurity spokesperson Karen Williams told says the stink bug is a 'scourge'.

"For arable and horticulture farmers, a scenario where a breeding population could get established here is a nightmare," she says.

Allan Pollard, chair of the brown marmorated stink bug council says he's happy with the announcement but believes there is a long way to go.

"The next step is to look at where we can source sufficient populations of the samurai wasp, and also the sort of permissions that we'll need to bring the wasp in if it's required."

Studies overseas have shown the samurai wasp can destroy over 70 percent of the eggs in a stink bug egg mass.

Watch the full interview with Allan Pollard above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE