Fera has confirmed the finding of a large adult stink bug in the North of England just before Christmas 2021. The insect was associated with a consignment of wood imported from China and identified by the University of Durham as the yellow spotted stink bug (Erthesina fullo), a diagnosis that was confirmed at Fera.
According to Fera, the species ‘is native to Asia and feeds on more than 57 different plant species, including several economically important fruit crops grown in the UK, such as apple, cherry, peach, and pear. The bugs suck out the plant juices with their needle-like mouthparts but are harmless to humans.’
The potential risk posed by this invasive bug to plant health in England and Wales is being assessed by Defra and will be added the UK Plant Health Risk Register. Fera added, ‘The bug does not occur in the UK and any suspected findings must be reported to the relevant authority. The related brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), also native to Asia, has recently become a major economic pest in parts of southern and central Europe.’