The discovery of a single brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) in Tauranga has got biosecurity staff laying traps to make sure there are no others in the area.
The bug, a crop pest, poses a significant biosecurity threat and it's estimated that if it took hold in New Zealand it could have a devastating effect on the fruit, vegetable and wine industries.
A Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson, Catherine Duthie, says a lone male stink bug was spotted in a house in Mount Maunganui last Saturday.
Dr Duthie said it was not known where the bug had come from and as a precaution, biosecurity staff were using a detector dog and laying a dozen special traps in the area which were designed specifically to lure stink bugs.
She said the surveillance work would help determine whether this bug was a lone hitchhiker, or whether there are more in the area, which would be of concern.
"The potential impact of this pest on New Zealand's horticulture industry is serious, so we want to make absolutely certain this is the only one," Dr Duthie said.
The traps will be checked every couple of days for the first two weeks, then every fortnight, while the special detector dog with a nose trained specifically for BMSB would be regularly brought in to check over the area.
"We are well prepared for this type of detection," she said.