The brown marbled bug, which gives off a foul odor when disturbed or crushed, is an insect that is hated around the world. Although native to countries in Asia, the highly invasive species has made its way to other regions including North America, South America, and Europe. This is particularly problematic for agriculture, as it feeds on more than 100 species of plants and decimates agricultural production. Now the bedbugs are creating an unexpected problem. They could be to blame for delaying the delivery of your car.
Bedbugs hide in freight containers for shipping cars
Shipping containers are the key to the global supply chain, but they are also the vehicle of choice for invasive species like the chinch bug. In Australia, authorities are taking strict measures to prevent non-native species from entering the country. Before reaching ports, Australia fumigates shipping containers, including those carrying cars, as detailed by ABC News Australia.
Bedbug fumigation delays shipping and delivery of cars
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The fumigation measures cause a delay of about four weeks. In Australia, the bedbug season runs from September to April. This is the hottest time of the year, and bedbugs wake up from their dormancy when the temperature is warmer. In an interview with ABC News Australia, Drive.au’s Joshua Dowling said, “In any given season we will see between two and a half dozen ships carrying cars held off while bedbugs are being dealt with. “
The result is that people will have to wait even longer to have their cars delivered. Car production and deliveries have already been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and the semiconductor chip shortage crisis. The bedbug problem only makes matters worse. Although delays in car deliveries due to stink bug fumigation measures primarily affect Australia, they are having a ripple effect on the rest of the world. The global supply chain connects the whole world, so any kind of shipping bottleneck negatively affects other countries.
Why are bedbugs so bad?
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Brown mottled bugs sleep in large numbers for several months. They are difficult to detect in this dormant state, as the pest lurks in buildings, equipment and shipping containers. When the temperature rises, they wake up and wreak havoc on crops. Another reason that stink bugs are such a harmful pest is their high level of invasion.
“They opportunistically use freight containers and freight vehicles to hitchhike across continents and oceans. The insect’s ability to hitchhike, fly, and feed on a wide range of host plants allows it to spread rapidly when introduced to new areas.
– Andrew Tongue, Head of the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment
Australia, rightly, is taking tough measures to prevent bedbugs from entering the country. In 2020, authorities carried out 232 stink bug detections on goods and ships. Bedbugs have a notorious reputation for their ability to decimate crops. In the eastern United States, they are particularly problematic for orchards. For example, in 2010, producers in the Central Atlantic region lost $ 37 million worth of apples to bedbugs.
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