BMSB fumigation 

What is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug?

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is a seasonal hitchhiker pest species that travels on shipping containers and in cargo to countries across the world where it is not native.

Where does the BMSB come from?

Originating from China, Japan, Korea and other parts of Asia, the stink bug poses a serious biosecurity threat to Australia and New Zealand throughout the year.

During the autumn, the BMSB is known to enter properties, vehicles, and factories in large numbers looking for a place to shelter over the winter.

They are commonly found in goods arriving in Australia between September and April, where they thrive in the warmer climate.

This period is known as BMSB risk season.

Why are BMSBs a problem?

These stink bugs may appear harmless, but Australia and New Zealand have a zero-tolerance policy on them, and for a good reason.

To many, stink bugs are an unpleasant smelling nuisance, but to the agricultural industry in these countries, they are a serious problem.

BMSB can cause substantial damage to food crops, feed crops, fibre crops, oil crops, ornamental crops, and industrial crops.

They plunge their beaks into crops and extract all nutritious value, leaving the products not only looking lifeless and misshapen but utterly unfit for consumption and unmarketable.

If not dealt with, and left to travel on shipping and cargo containers, these pests can wipe out entire crop yields, costing the agricultural industry millions of pounds in damages.

Unlike other bugs, BMSB has no natural predators and are quick to grow – laying up to 200 eggs a year.

It is easy to see how pose a severe threat to agriculture, and must be dealt with before spreading.

Sunrise in busy container terminal in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Why are BMSBs a problem?

These stink bugs may appear harmless, but Australia and New Zealand have a zero-tolerance policy on them, and for a good reason.

To many, stink bugs are an unpleasant smelling nuisance, but to the agricultural industry in these countries, they are a serious problem.

BMSB can cause substantial damage to food crops, feed crops, fibre crops, oil crops, ornamental crops, and industrial crops.

They plunge their beaks into crops and extract all nutritious value, leaving the products not only looking lifeless and misshapen but utterly unfit for consumption and unmarketable.

If not dealt with, and left to travel on shipping and cargo containers, these pests can wipe out entire crop yields, costing the agricultural industry millions of pounds in damages.

Unlike other bugs, BMSB has no natural predators and are quick to grow – laying up to 200 eggs a year.

It is easy to see how pose a severe threat to agriculture, and must be dealt with before spreading.

How is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug dealt with?

BMSB Heat Treatment

Urban Hawks fumigation team will regularly use heat treatment to combat the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

It is an incredibly quick and effective method of eradicating this pest from containers or cargo. Once temperatures lethal to the BMSB are reached, it only takes a maximum of 30 minutes to complete the process.

For cargo weighing less than 3,000kg, heat treatment will be set at 60°C for 10 minutes, while heavier cargo will be set at the same temperature but for twice as long.

All other sizes will be set at 56°C for half an hour.

BMSB Sulfuryl Flouride Treatment

Urban Hawks is also approved to deliver sulfuryl flouride treatments that effectively eliminate all life stages of the brown marmorated stink bug.

When released, this colourless, odourless gas spreads into every crack and pore of the designated space. After exposure to sulfuryl fluoride, the BMSB will gradually release fluoride inside their body, and with high enough exposure, they will be killed.

Our team will help you assess which of these treatments is suitable for your site requirements. We are able to treat goods stored in containers or under sheets at locations throughout the UK with a turnaround time of 12-24 hours.

Pest Control

We can also fumigate containers using the approved sulfuryl fluoride and Phosphine for other pests such as:

∙ Wood boring insects

∙ Stored product insects

∙ Moths

Metallic Phosphine compounds can be used for food commodities, raw materials, finished goods, packaging materials and other items such as basket ware and tobacco.

These commodities can often have stored product Insects and other pest species infestations, which must be addressed.

The phosphine treatment time can range between five days to a fortnight depending on the pest species problem, the product and the temperature.

Our team is able to carry out treatments at the client’s premises, ports, rail freight terminals and Storage Sites across the UK.

Fumigation equipment

Are fumigation treatments safe?

While exporting countries have goods regularly fumigated before being exported and shipped, there can be a risk to the people opening and unloading if the container is not first de-gassed.

A survey undertaken in Belgium and the Netherlands found that 11 per cent of 50,000 containers tested found toxic vapours and gas levels above safe levels. A high percentage of these containers had not even been fumigated.

The levels of toxic substances were found to be emitted from everyday items such as shoes, electronics and paint, which were still curing from the manufacturing process.

Some of these substances include Formaldehyde, Toluene, 1,2 Dichloroethane, Carbon Monoxide and Ammonia.

This presents a risk to the health of any unsuspecting individual opening and discharging the containers, including warehouse operatives, forklift truck drivers, port health or custom inspectors, and anyone who has contact with a container.

How do we help?

At Urban Hawks, we put safety first, which is why we offer a testing and ventilation service for a range of substances to provide safety and reassurance to all those who may be at risk.

We can quickly and safely extract toxic gases via forced ventilation to remove the remaining hazardous residues.

Our team will thoroughly test gas in the container, and only when the levels are below the Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) will we issue a gas-free clearance certificate.

Get In Touch


Urban Hawks is proud to offer our Fumigill Fumigation Services and treatments for The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug for clients throughout the UK.

If you are concerned about Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs on your cargo or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. With over 25 years of experience, we are happy to answer any questions you may have and help you find the right solution to your pest problem.

If you would like to find out more about our UK Fumigation Services or have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team  on 01513456854 or email us at info@urbanhawks.co.uk.

We are happy to answer any further queries and offer a free consultancy process to discuss your pest issues.